We left Mazatlan in the afternoon for an overnight sail to Isla Isabel. The anchorage there is not very good for a long stay but it is ok for a few hours allowing for a quick trip ashore. The island is part of the National Park system and is also a World Heritage Site, it is nicknamed the “Galapagos of Mexico” because of its many nesting birds and iguanas. It has no permanent settlement but there is a research station and a few shacks on the beach. These are used by tourists who can book overnight stays. We spent about 2 hours hiking around the island. Thousands of birds; ie-frigates, blue-footed boobies, brown boobies, red-footed boobies, pelicans and many more species, lots of iguanas and tons of bird poop.  You need to watch where you step as the Boobies nest right on the ground.

Isla Isabel fishing shacks
Brown Boobie with lime green feet
Baby Boobie
lift off

 We carried on to San Blas and anchored in Matanchen Bay. This is a very pretty spot except for the Jejenes (Hay – Hay- Nays) AKA noseeums. These small biting bugs show up at sunset and sunrise, if you are not either inside with hatches closed or clothed in long sleeves and pants and covered in bug spray you are fair game for them. We were forewarned so didn’t get too many bites.  

yup we’re in San Blas
Matanchen Bay sunset

We stayed for 3 nights which gave us time to catch up on our sleep, tour San Blas and take in a “Jungle Tour” which is a 3-hour panga ride up the Rio Tovara estuary. It was very cool trip through the mangroves to see birds, fish, turtles, crocodiles, wild orchids and other flora and fauna.

Jungle river trip
Do not pet the wild life !
Another along the way
an old movie site

San Blas was established in 1530 and for a very long time was a major shipping and naval center for New Spain. As is the case with many towns San Blas grew and then, as the industry moved to other centres, it has faded back to small town status. There remains a large fort and several churches that are centuries old.

The old fort
View from the fort
Centro Square
Inside the main church
Cemetery entrance
Once inside

From San Blas it was a short sail to Chacala. Another big beach, it is known for being a little rolly in the anchorage, so its best to set two anchors. One off the bow as the main anchor and another off of the stern so the boat is held facing into the waves. Just an overnight here and then on to La Cruz.

Chacala beach

More to come in the next update.

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2 thoughts on “Still Southbound

  1. Pretty cool places you are seeing. Derick, once again your writing describes so well I feel like I am there. Thank you

  2. Thanks for the great updates on your adventures. I really enjoy that you are able to let us in on what you folks are finding out there. Maybe one day I will follow in your footsteps and if not at least I can enjoy it second hand hahaha 🙂

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