Scott and I had the amazing opportunity to anchor one night at Isla Isabela, an unspoiled natural Bird Sanctuary which was featured in National Geographic and Jacques Cousteau TV shows. One can visit only by small boat, so we felt very lucky!
As we sailed, 93 miles south of Mazatlan, we saw tens of thousand sea birds circling overhead this small volcanic island. We noticed the dramatic hardened lava flows on the cliffs. These are perfect little shelves for the nesting booby birds. Once anchored, we paddle boarded to the small beach and hiked to the volcanic caldera, now filled with fresh water for the birds and iguanas (the only largish animals on the island).
Along the beaches we were able to walk right near both blue footed and yellow footed, sweet faced booby birds, nesting on the rocks. They are fearless, since protected.
We walked through the small mangrove forest and quickly were surrounded by Frigates, Boobies, Terns, Noddies, Pelicans, and their nests. We saw numerous mating dances and shows of the magnificent red breasted male Frigate. All these birds are absolutely fearless, since they have been protected since 1981 in a National Park and World Heritage site (and there are no predators).
We motored/sailed/ bashed (sailing directly into the wind, and maybe big swell, is called bashing) with a few other cruisers from Cabo North to a little bay called Frailes, then continued our way North to Bahia de Muertos (cute bay with 1 restaurant and 1 fun resort). Kathy took a 3 hour paddle board adventure along a white coral beach. This plus our fun friends, baby turtles, snorkeling and views were the highlights.
We then spent few days of R&R and grocery shopping at the markets in La Paz. Our goal was to sail up to the GORGEOUS Isla Pardita North of La Paz. VERY Amazing water, hiking, paddle boarding and excellent snorkeling.
Woke up last week and noticed the water was only 79.9 degrees so for sure time to head south. We sailed 50 miles back south to Muertos and watched the weather closely. The winds were coming from the north and held nicely for our overnight Sea of Cortez crossing Thursday/ Friday, headed for Mazatlan.
Plans for Dec, Jan, and Feb: We will be combing the mainland coast, North and South with the winds from Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Barra De Navidad. Our adult children and parents will join us for a warm winter vacation as well.. We of course will stay in our honeymoon spot anchored in Zihuatanejo. There is an International Guitar Festival which is full of culture and live music. Come join us for this week of fun if its your thing!
We sailed south from Ensenada to Turtle Bay (Bahia Tortuga) at 17-25 knots with large swells keeping us on our toes. We threw out our lines and must have sailed through a 1 mile long school of Bonita- catching and releasing 46, 12 to 14 inch fish. These are not very tasty so we don’t keep them. I am happy to see them wildly swim off. The next leg we sailed south 230 miles to Bahia de Santa Maria . The water is just getting warmer and sweat shirts have been packed away. Caught one small tuna and a 3 and 1/2 foot Yellow Tail Tuna! Now this made for some very delicious sushi meals!
For our final leg of the BajaHaha Rally we had 3-4 fishing lines out all day, about 9 hours. A few little hits but nothing to reel in,because “fishing isn’t always catching!”
We nights sailed right into the large, crowded bay of Cabo San Lucas. Resting and recouping was much needed with friends and a few margaritas. We are still pinching ourselves that we’re here and floating in (very salty) 85 degree water. The sights are amazing and the nightlife is endless.
Night Sailing; what a trippy and spooky new experience for us. All of our senses are hightened to the fullest, because it’s damn dark out here! Every little noise keeps us on our toes: waves, hull splashes, wind in our sails, rigging, water foaming at our stern, the creaking of drawyers and hinges in the galley, or a random hallyard clanging the mast. We also hear various ships using the VHF radio. San Diego had many military announcements round the clock. Ensenada had shrimp boaters and fisherman rambling quickly in Spanish. When in Bahia de Santa Maria we primarily heard our new sailing friends chattering about where they will anchor or what’s cooking for breakfast. We hail nearby sailing vessels that we know, asking if they have reefed their main, put away the whisker pole and/or furled their jib. “Sea Bella, Sea Bella, Sea Bella calling Reverence, over”… “change to channel 62”. One night, we discussed the waxing sliver of orange moon setting on the horizon. I have never seen such brilliant stars, millions of stars just above brightening the pitch black sky. The biggest challenge of night sailing for me is sleeping. We rotate night watches every few hours, while the others try to sleep down below (the various sounds and rock n rolling is much less though if you sleep outdoors in the cockpit). The person on ‘the watch’ glances at the chart plotter screen for navigation. Always checking waypoints and rum lines. We look for other boats, weather and/or objects on our radar. We regularly peek at the wind direction and speed indicator, as accurate sailing is very important for boat speed and maintaining full sails. Watching depth wasn’t critical on this leg, as it is extremely deep 20 miles off the Baja coast, averaging hundreds of fathoms, I guess. We have had fun watching one nautical guage monitoring the water temperature as we were sailing down the coast. The temperature in Morro Bay when we left was 59 degrees and Cabo San Lucas just turned 84! Since we were Hobie racers for so long, watching boat speed is habit. We get a thrill when Sea Bella reaches 10 knots on a downwind sail, surfing the 10 foot waves! We also like to log our latitude and longitude every hour, and it was exciting to close in and cross the Tropic of Capricorn. But, the biggest mystery is to see how many squid have jumped up on deck by first light, Andrew and Jane Weeks counted about 19. Other friends collected squid and fried them up for a sunrise breakfast!