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WilsonSailingChronicles
Flying Pelican
12/31/2011, El Candelero

I never get tired of these birds and watching them fly. When you see groups of them flying together that is flight school, when you see 2 that is private lessons, when you see one that's a solo flight. (many thanks to my friend Elaine from Windarra for that great description)

La Paz and Surrounding Islands
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Hitch Hiker
12/31/2011, Isla Isabella

Hitchhiker? When the sun came up on our way to Isla Isabella I was surprised to discover a Peli hitch hitch hiking on the bow of the boat. It was very funny to watch him get off the boat. Note the special present he left on the deck!!

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Tropic Birds
12/31/2011, Isla Isabella

Again wish I had a better picture but it was so exciting to see a Tropic Bird which looks a lot like a tern with a long streaming tail.

Isla Isabela
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Frigate & Booby
12/31/2011, Isla Isabela

The frigate birds (thieves) and the booby birds (hard working) are in a constant struggle for food, booby catches frigate tries to steal. Not a great picture but if you are able to zoom you can see that the booby's head is contorted backwards trying to defend itself

Isla Isabela
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El Cardonel, Isla Partida
Reg
12/04/2011, Isla Partida

The sail to El Cardonel was a bit of work. After three days of winds above 20 knots from the north we encountered large swells off our port stern as we headed south to Cardonel, with wave heights of 6-7 feet. Had a few break under us and toss us around. Not threatening but challenging to maintain a course and fun as you surf down the face. I knew we were going to enjoy the anchorage as soon as we rounded the north west point to enter as we encountered our first turtle. The scale of the anchorages are hard to describe, with high sheer walls and widths of several hundred feet, you look at the shore, with nothing in front to allow a perspective and think you are quite close. Then another boat anchors between you and the shore and you realize the first layer of rocks on the shore are at least twice the height of a person, when without this perspective they appear you could step over them.

After Isla San Francisco, Ensenada le Cardonel was heaven. We had no more than 3 other boats with us at anytime in an anchorage several multiples larger and lots of room, privacy, and protection from the winds. I finally had a great sleep without having to worry about the rocky lee shore. The first morning we had the anchorage to ourselves by 10am and headed to the mangrove and sand beach at the head of the bay for a hike to the eastern shore, encountering two more turtles en-route. That evening we were entertained for an hour by three or four turtles that surfaced in the neighbourhood of our boat with great loud breaths, looked around to get a bearing and then dove again. The bay must be a feeding area for the turtles.

After our hike, we relaxed for the afternoon and resolved we would try snorkelling the next morning as Phoebe had seen some beautiful fish as we drifted back to the boat along the shore. This would be our first attempt at snorkelling since our initiation in the BVI's three years ago. It was a success, the fish turned out to be large angel fish, purple with a vertical white stripe and orange mouths and fins. They were hovering near the rocks of what was once a manmade stone pier close to the mass of oyster shells Phoebe photographed and posted. After the fish treat Phoebe practised floating without the camera and her confidence swimming in saltwater increased so we will venture further with this sport. My mask leaked through the moustache soooooo, given my thrill snorkelling, I shaved all facial hair the next day and the salty dog look is no longer. We stayed two nights and left reluctantly to La Paz to re-provision, pick up the sail left for repair, and wifi connect to the family.

La Paz and Surrounding Islands
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Isla San Francisco
Phoebe - Beautiful
12/01/2011, Isla San Francisco, Mexico

Lots of pictures of our stay on Isla San Francisco. We had very high winds and ended up staying 3 nights there. Even though the anchorage was mostly flat it was a bit scary at night worrying about the anchor dragging. This did give us a good opportunity to explore the island. We did not leave the boat the first day as we did have some trouble with dragging. This was a great spot, great hiking up the 600' mountain and over to the other beach on the east side of the island. The diversity of plant life on these desert islands is truly amazing considering they get less than 10 inches of rainfall per year. We saw manta ray's jumping in the sun (too fast for pictures), lots of birds some of which I was never able to photograph but I guess I still have lots of time. We really enjoyed the hiking and the views all around. I apologize as the pictures are out of sequence (long story and very boring) but we hope that they give you a good idea of what we have been seeing and experiencing. We are so very lucky to be doing what we want to do.....

La Paz and Surrounding Islands
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12/04/2011 | Tom Dawe
"AMEN" to your last sentence. We are all so so lucky. Aren't u guys building exciting stories on a daily basis. Pictures are great and Carol and I say happy sailing - fair winds and medium weather. Blowin a hooley was for our younger days. LOL

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