Christmas, Isla Isabella - Sailboat Stories by Lynn & Don Campbell

Our stay in Mazatlan extended from the planned 2 weeks, to almost 2 months. We decided that since we weren't going home for Christmas this year, it would be nice to spend it in a familiar place with our extended (cruiser) family.

We also had a chance to visit with fellow Calgary boat builders Peter & Innes who had just completed a 9 year circumnavigation. Seems Mazatlan is the rendezvous point for Chinook Boatbuilders as we met John & Elaine here last season. Wonder who we'll see next season?

Pre Christmas activities found us going to lots of dance performances, Flamenco dancers, the Nutcracker Ballet at the Angela Perrault Theater and once again we enjoyed the efforts of the Salvation Army Dancers here at the marina.

Just before Christmas, we were invited to a Mexican Fiesta, called a Posada. During this fiesta, the guests re-enact in song, the plight of Mary & Joseph as they were looking for an Inn.

Since we were at the English school, some of the guests went outside the gates and sang their plea to the others inside, and after several verses, they do get let in, and then the party continues with food and fun. I tried my aim at breaking open the piñata.

We finally left Mazatlan and we had another first. We actually sailed the whole way on an overnight passage to our intended destination, and in fact, we got there so fast, that it was still dark when we arrived, so we sailed past the island for about 45 minutes, doing about 8kn, which was the fastest we have ever sailed.

Then we turned the motor on and went back to the Isla Isabella in the daylight. What a spectacular place!

Our first morning here, we hiked up to a bird colony, a fairly easy climb and got up close and personal with hundreds of boobys, blue footed and yellow.  They seemed quite accustomed to people, didn't seem frightened by our presence, but did do a lot of squawking and quacking when we got too close ... less than 2ft away.

At one point, Don was standing still, enjoying the awesome view of the bay, when a yellow footed booby stepped right beside him, looked up as if to say ... "move fellow, you're on my spot".

Don took a step away, and the booby settled himself/herself (it's hard to tell the difference) right where he had been standing. They don't seem to build a real nest, just pick any old spot and claim it for their own.

Now, as an added bonus, all along the trail, the frigate birds were nesting in the low lying trees. In places, you walk right under their nest, only a foot or two away from your head, kind of gives you a spooky feeling when you see the shadows of the hundreds of birds circling overhead. The male frigate puffs out his bright red neck, and makes a strange clanging sound, rather like shaking an empty tin can with rocks in it.

I really enjoyed visiting this island, and rather hated to leave. I would have been quite happy having a few more picnics with the booby, but San Blas was calling, and next chapter, I'll take you on a jungle trip, and to the top of an extinct volcano. Stay tuned!

(webmaster's note - I'll be adding the pictures real soon)

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