Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Isla Isabella and Chacala

We left Mazatlan late January 10th for an overnight sail 86 miles to arrive at Isla Isabella.  We sailed until 0400 then motored until we arrived at 9am January 11th.  We started sighting whales frolicking along the way.  We kept our distance.

Isla Isabella
Isla Isabella is a national park and bird sanctuary.  There's not much vegetation, and the anchorage is a  collapsed caldera.  The bay is small and the swells seem to roll in gently until they hit the rocks and explode in spray and foam.  Too bad we didn't take any photos.

It is a very small anchorage with known rocks, so with great care we dropped the hook over a patch of sand in 20 ft and spent the night.  Far from any town, the stars were brilliant, with the crashing surf invisible in the darkness.  A panga fished around us late into the evening, sometimes with a light, sometimes not.  It was eerry.

It was a rolly night, so we decided to press on to Chacala, where surely there was more protection from the swells.  (Ha!  fat chance)

The next day, we sailed a few hours to Chacala, "the postcard".  A beautiful, palm fringed bay, a small quiet village, with a few hotels and beach bars...   Aaahhhh.  BUT, with bigger swells and crashing surf.  Since we didn't bother with a stern anchor, the wind often put us sideways to the swells, so we rolled even more than Isla Isabella.  But it was so beautiful, we stayed a second night.

By now, the water is very warm, so swimming off the boat is nice,.  However, swimming next to the boat the swells start looking a lot bigger.

This is it!  At last!
      Jarana in the background

Well, as it turned out, Chacala rolled even more that Isla Isabella and we were always cross ways to the swell.

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