We sailed 4 days and 4 nights – with one stop for a couple hours… Isla Isabela. We have tried 3 ½ years to stop at “Mexico’s Galapagos Island” - and each time it has been rotten weather. This time, there was no stopping me. This place was on my bucketlist and I was going to cross it off!
|Frigate Bird baby that has fallen out of its nest. You want to help so bad, but nature must take its course here.|
|Carolyne looking up at a nesting Frigate baby.|
The anchorage is known to be an ‘anchor-eater’ – lots of rocks to snag. When we arrived, 2 boats were anchored where we wanted to be. Such is luck. Jim and I dropped the hook an were uncomfortably close to a reef. We only had a few hours of daylight left, so Jim urged the kids and me to venture forth and get back before the sun went down. He offered to stay aboard and keep an eye on things.
I have never hiked so fast in my life! It was a power hike!
We stopped only to take photos of fuzzy fledglings. The Frigate Bird babies and Blue Footed Boobie babies were everywhere. Because the island is a protected refuge, you can get really close to the nests. The parents only complain a little. The Frigate Bird nests were literally just over our heads (Carolyne and I wore hats!) and the Boobies are ground nesters – so we tread very carefully.
|These researchers come from Mexico City and surrounding areas. Two are volunteers.|
Researchers occupy the island and were exceptionally friendly and knowledgeable. They tag the birds with numbered ankle bracelets. Mating habits and nesting habits are just some of the behaviors that are monitored. One female Boobie they were watching carefully was still nurturing her dead chick, out of character for this species. Usually, the female will move the living chicks out of the nest if one dies.
|Blue Footed Boobie Feet|
|The male Boobie guards the nest while the female sits on eggs...|
|and sits on chicks, too!|
|The Boobie chicks grow fast - these are 25 days old.|
I wish we could have spent more time here – many trials to hike and a crater lake to enjoy. But we are on a mission south. So, two hours later we pulled anchor… and snagged a rock. Jim was overjoyed – let me tell ya. Thankfully, we motored it out of the crevice successfully and our angelic children were spared a spousal argument.
|Many babies don't make it because they fall out of the nests.|
Onward we went – until… we agreed to stop in La Cruz for minor repairs:
- change zinc on engine hoping to stop the salt water leak we noticed below the engine
- moved the flux gate compass because we were yawing ridiculously
- re-wired fridge because it was running non-stop
- changed injector pump oil
A cruiser’s work is never done.