On the Sea Again
31 March 2015
February 18, 2015
After thirty-nine days in Mazatlan it was time to leave. Mazatlan was full of visual and auditory stimulation and we were looking forward to getting back on the water.
Our first planned stop was to be Isla Isabella, a national reserve park located 90 miles SE of Mazatlan. It is home to Frigate birds and the illusive Blue-footed Boobies. All last season, I was on a search for one of these unique birds with their aqua legs and feet, but never did I see one. On Isla Isabella, I was sure to see my first Boobie.
We left Mazatlan at 1130 but not before a few harrowing moments. Our first chore was to get fuel. Unfortunately, there was a six-knot current with a ten-knot breeze keeping us from the dock. After two approaches, Jay decided to pull in on the opposite side, which was actually a slip. Despite one small boat in the slip, there was enough room for us, as well as friends to help us in and out.
Next, we had to brave the exit. We passed the dredge and were running with the tide when we bumped into a five-foot shoal. As quickly as we went THUMP, we rose above it and continued on our way out of the harbor.
Just one more obstacle to surpass. A speedboat towing a para-sailor was passing directly in front of us and the line just barely missed our mast! OMG!
We began our sail with 15 knots of breeze and two to three feet of swell. The air was warm and the sun was shining through a sky littered with white puffy clouds. There were a few wispy clouds too - foretelling more wind. We did get more wind, but no more than twenty knots and it was a lovely afternoon sail.
We were in no hurry as we wanted to arrive at Isla Isabella in the daylight. There are rocks and quite a good bit of fishing - which means the probability that we could stumble into nets and/or lines in the water. Neither of us wanted to get tangled up in those.
Not long after we set sail, we saw a whale jump clear out of the water and do a back flip. He was only about 50 yards off our port bow. We kept watch for the next 15 minutes and saw a few more breaches. Just can't get enough of those whale sightings.
The night passage was long but relatively uneventful (except it was a bit lumpy). I did see the Southern Cross for the very first time. That was exciting. At 0700 we were approaching Isla Isabella, only to hear on the radio that there was virtually, "no room at the inn."
Isabella has a small anchorage and it was full with two boats waiting to get in. The anchoring is precarious at best (known to swallow anchors because of the rocks) and with the predicted winds and seas from the south, it just didn't seem prudent to visit this day.
Oh well. Such as it is with cruising. Maybe another time. Maybe not.
It is 1000 and I am at the helm. The seas are flat and there is little wind at the moment. We are motoring. Jay saw another whale while I was making breakfast and I just saw a few dolphins off our bow. It is quite the perfect day.
"Jay! What is that?" I call out. I just saw twenty little black somethings. They turn out to be Manta Rays. They were swimming and jumping out of the water.
Today we have rerouted to Matanchen Bay where we will visit San Blas and take a jungle tour. And finally, be back on the hook.