Thursday, January 1, 2015

Isla Isabel


What a beautiful start we have to 2015 here at Isla Isabel.  Isla Isabel is actually coined "The Little Galapagos" because it is a volcanic island in the Pacific and it has a protected environment for the seabird population. There is also an impressive iguana population.  Research is conducted on the island in a center built by the Jacques Cousteau Foundation on the birds, reptiles and of course marine life. 
Isla Isabel

The beach in our anchorage

Looking at the south anchorage

We paddled to shore this morning after a tamale breakfast to hike around the island.  The entire beach was full of boobies!!  Not the kind that Mike could cheer about...these were seabirds! The blue footed boobie is a seabird I have been wanting to see for a long time.  They are cool looking birds.  They have a striped head and really blue eyes, a big white belly and, of course, blue feet.  Their big blue feet make for an awkward walk, reminiscent of walking with fins on my feet.

Blue Footed Boobie

We saw and photographed blue footed boobies, frigates and brown boobies, as well as iguanas. The hike took us through a research facility built by the Jacques Cousteau Foundation and a fish camp along the shore.  We hiked to the top of the cliffs on the other side of the island and came upon a rookery for the frigates and the boobies.  I felt a little odd walking around the birds on their nests and the mommas with their babies, but they seemed willing to let us into their world without it disturbing them.  The chirp that the boobies make reminds me of air mattress being deflated.  Kind of funny.

Brown Boobie with new chick
Brown Boobie daddy sits on 2 eggs
Male Frigate

Sunning Iguana
Crate of Iguanas

On the return back to the beach we saw the spray of a couple of whales right off the anchorage.  They were humpbacks!  This has to be a sign of good luck!  First dolphins, now whales!!  Yippee!!

When we got to our boards I noticed mine was no longer inflated.  Yep, the Waterman blew a seam again. Mike took his board to the boat to get my snorkel gear and swimsuit.  As he was paddling back, Mark from Three Hour Tour came to shore with his wife Birgit and their daughter Kris and offered to drop me and the board back to Pangaea.  What a nice guy!
Waiting to be rescued

Seam blew, again.  Waterman Boards

Mike on his way back to Pangaea

 I made a light lunch of salmon salad and crackers from the farmers market while Mike repaired my paddle board.  We had another humpback show while we ate and then went snorkeling along the rocks/reefs in the anchorage.  

The snorkeling was pretty good.  The water was really clear and warm and we saw a lot of fish.  We even saw a large spotted ray. We had a long way to swim but it was fun!  I thought I had a picture of the ray. Darn presbyopia!  Time to get bifocal contacts or a prescription mask.  

When we got back we decided to move the boat, as while snorkeling we dove the anchor and it was on a rocky bed, not good for holding. (Mike dove the anchor and put out a marker where the sandy bottom began for reference). While we were moving the boat, three more humpbacks showed us their tails.  This spot is amazing!

I made a Thai curry for dinner with broccoli, asparagus, a red pepper, beet pasta, fresh basil and ginger and an organic chicken we pressure cooked before we left (all from the farmers market).  I love cooking with fresh veggies, meat and herbs and coconut oil and coconut milk!

The evening wound down with a little Homeland.

Hasta la mañana!

First Mate Kate

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