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Mistral of Portsmouth - Isabela Island

This island has a very cool vibe … I love it. It’s relaxed, authentic, undeveloped and quite beautiful. No real roads - just sand tracks. The anchorage is shallow and surrounded by lava reef (the island was created by 5 different volcanoes). We are used to the turtles, iguanas and sealions all around us now. We also catch sight of the occasional ray along with shark fins circling. No swimming off the boat for us!

Shirley, David and I had a lovely day exploring the town of V and its surrounds - we went in search of pink flamingoes and found them as we did a 2km hike along a board walk skirting the inland pools. A very relaxed couple of beers along with local corn snacks at Beto’s bar on the beach followed by a vigorous play in the surf on the stunning long white sandy beach. Cocktails at 5pm when happy hour begins (it doesn’t get better!) with friends from Yacht Matilda and delicious shrimp dinner finished the day perfectly!

We had booked a tour to the lava tunnels on the island and got the water taxi at 7.15am for the 7.30am start … we are definitely still on South American time as we actually left at 8.15am. The tour was an adventure! 10 people in a small fast ‘panga’ boat which bounced across the water for 45 minutes to Union Rock - home of the blue footed boobies. This was followed by the captain of the boat, powering up the engine and riding/sliding the surf into the lava lagoons - omg … a roller coaster ride. We needed to be strapped in (of course we weren’t!); miraculously, we arrived in one piece. The landscape was surreal - black lava bridges, tunnels and islands with wild life all around. We had a brief wander around some of the lava and made our way to the snorkel sites. There were 2 - one to search for seahorses and the other to swim with giant turtles and sharks. Amazing … mission accomplished! Truly memories for ever.

Shirley & David left on Monday for their next big adventure in Ecuador and Peru. It’s been really lovely to share some of our adventure with them - the highs and the lows! Dealing with a sticky, hot environment with flying ants (attracted by the light at night), limited water supplies and in a small space is not easy. Shirls and David managed it all with grace and humour - we will miss them! So saying, we do have a few days on our own. We have had company now for more than 2 months so some space and time alone will also be lovely.

A day or so of boat maintenance, cleaning and washing was followed by a final trip to the town. I managed to scoop 4 packs of bacon for provisioning (a big win!) but still no eggs. Janie and Patrick had arrived under their own steam so we met up for cocktails - they join us in Santa Cruz in a few days time. And today we are off. Farewell Isabela. A 40nm journey to Santa Cruz Island. We weighed anchor at 8am … no wind so another relaxing day on the motor. We will worry about the trauma of filling up with fuel when we arrive.


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