Saturday, January 8, 2011

Isla Isabella

On our trip down to Isabella we were treated to a visit from two whales. I’d been napping on deck when their spouting woke me, and there they were just ten yards off our starboard beam! We watched their dorsal ridges arc gracefully out of the water a few times before they revealed their massive forked tails. About a hundred yards away another whale breached, jumping clear out of the water and landing with a colossal splash.

Soon we arrived at Isla Isabella, a small rocky wildlife reserve in the middle of the ocean. It was swarming with large black frigate birds and was reminiscent of something out of a Hitchcock movie (namely, The Birds). The smell of the guano-encrusted rocks hit our noses even before we dropped the anchor.

We rowed ashore and beached the dinghy near a small makeshift fishing village, then proceeded to look for a hiking path. Every branch of every tree drooped with the weight of at least three birds.

As we walked along the island started to look like one of those “After People” shows on the Discovery Channel that depict what would happen to human creations after our extinction. Abundant white streaking indicated the birds had made good use of this dilapidated basketball hoop.

And after walking along staring at the birds we realized we ought to pay more attention to where we put our feet, as the ground was covered with iguanas, frozen in place and waiting for the sun to warm them.

How many iguanas can you spot in this photo?

John and Luke hiked to the top of the island where the view was beautiful, and they saw some rare birds.

We knew there were both blue and yellow-footed Boobies on this island, but this particular bird appeared to be a green-footed hybrid.

Next stop was Banderas Bay and Nuevo Vallarta.

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