Hiking Isla Isabela
14 November 2008 | Isla Isabela
Happy Birthday, Jerrie! Brian was able to find a satellite long enough to call his mother on the Sat phone to wish her a happy birthday. This is amazing because here we are sitting on an anchor at an isolated island off the Sea Cortez while Brian connects with the US via satellite, thousands of frigates flying above and waves gently hitting against the rock cliffs, it is very picturesque in the middle of no where, something that I would imagine that Jerrie would be able to paint. Because of the morning heat, we decided to do a little snorkeling before landing on the island for exploration and a hike. We met Steve and Manjula from s/v Endless Summer while in the water and made plans to hike the island together. We rode over to the small fishing village and landed the dinghy. There were a few fishermen hanging out in the small papalas to escape from the sun/heat. Once on shore we were able to see the frigates up close. It was "frigate" amazing! Frigates were everywhere you looked, and I mean everywhere!! They were flying only inches away from us, landing in the shrub trees just above our heads. There were several wild iguanas roaming around underfoot. Shrub trees covered the island. You could tell the male frigates by the big red epiglottis that they would puff up, like a big red balloon, then started their mating call which sounded like a low clicking or strumming of a drum. Often we would see 2 or 3 males to a shrub tree and the females would fly to the area. Interesting mating style! We were able to find a slightly overgrown trail with some areas worn down just enough to follow the trail through the shrub trees (almost jungle like) and that went around the island and to the Crater Lake. On our way to Crater Lake, we hiked up the cliff and walked along the edge were we saw the yellow-footed boobies nesting and caring for their young. It was amazing; we saw every development stage of the boobie (mother sitting on egg to the early stage of preflight) as we hiked quietly past them. We spoke to a couple girls from the Nature Conservancy that were staying on the island to help clean up the island of the non-indigenous plants that had been brought there in the previous years. We asked them about the blue-footed boobies that were supposed to be on the island. They mentioned that the blue-footed boobies are on the other side of the island. Since we had already hiked several hours and we needed to head back to check on the boat we decided to forego the hunt for blue-footed boobies. Once we got back to the boat, we ended the day skindiving.