Mar 21, 2009
Isla Isabel is one of those places you will only encounter on a boat. Isabel lies between the Islas Marias (Prison Islands) and the mainland coast. The island is only 82 hectares big, (however big that is) the island was small. The only thing on it is a small panguero (panga fisherman) village and a reasearch station (more like a camp) where students do research on the booby birds which inhabit the island. The island itself completely rugged, no signs of civilization other than the few fisherman huts and outhouses which were on the island. Most notable for its birds, it contains 90% of the world's population of Heerman's gull. The most abundant seabird on the island is the Frigate Bird, as we approached the island you could see them swarming above it like a dark cloud. The most interesting birds on the island by far were the booby birds, brown, blue, and red footed boobies. They are scattered along different areas of the island like gangs, and they don't mix colors. On the east side we have the blue boobies which are right on shore in lowlying grass areas. The yellow on the west side, and I never found any red or brown footed boobies. This place was straight outta discovery channel. Crystal clear blue water you could see at least 30 or 40 feet through and so many different species of fish to see we could have spent a week here just snorkeling. Unfotunately we couldn't fish as the island is a protected nature refuge. In the center of the island is a huge alkaline lake formed by the extinct volcanoe which created the island. Lago Crater as its known was created when several large craters all collapsed to form one huge one in the middle. The water is not potable due to its high alkalinity (ph=10.) I finally got to test my underwater camera... Good thing the waters so damn clear cause I dropped the thing! Found it after swimming circles for a good half hour, it was laying on the bottom in about 20 feet of water. It's supposed to only be rated at 10 feet but props to Olympus the thing worked just fine, check the pics yourself. Still can't get over how clear the water was, probably the best spot so far.