Window from the past, part II

March 20, 2017 Sea Lions at Los Isoletes
We had been sailing for 4 hours, coasting along with a gentle breeze. My family had left Isla San Francisco at 12:30 after a botched kiteboarding attempt. A mile from Los Isoletes the wind died. We dropped sails and motored the rest of the way. Los Isoletes are several big, guano-covered rocks, one quarter mile off of the island, Isla Partida. The rock we visited has a vertical face about 100 feet high, a few hundred feet long, and 40 feet wide. Where it meets the water, the miniature island flattens out for twenty feet, drops down another ten, and extends again for 40 feet before steeply dropping off. On the scattered rocks at the base of the cliff there were countless sea lions, each and every one barking, moaning or fighting. We even saw some climb over each other to go to better spots! Our family hurriedly anchored a hundred feet out in 80 feet of water. Since we were so close and we were leaving soon, we couldn’t get the dinghy in the water, which meant we had to swim. As I got in the water I couldn’t help but think about big sharks and looking like a seal. The one benefit it gave me was a much faster swim.
The bottom was extremely rocky with big boulders disturbing the surface of the water. Each and every boulder was covered in a mass of barnacles. Several times I would swim up next to a barnacle infested rock and wave my hand back and forth, making their delicate, feather like feeders rush out. I saw several Moorish idle fish, whole schools of a fish with the body of emperor angelfish but with a grey body with black dots and a longer mouth. There were also many small blue fish just a few inches under the surface. They might have been blue devils, but I am not sure. Skimming over the rocks there were small, thin, almost eely fish with beautiful markings. And then there were the sea lions. Every minute there were some getting in the water in ones or twos. Often, one of them would dive down and then the other would follow, just on its flippers. They would tumble around, going in summersaults, twisting around each other and then nipping at the other’s jaws, all the while swimming towards the surface, only to dive back down. When they were alone I saw them chasing after fish or gliding over the bottom, twisting through miniature gaps. I would try to copy them and even touched a few fish myself! Unfortunately, the sun was getting low so we swam back to Anthea (Mark had swum back and up anchored so we didn’t have to swim so far), and said good bye to Los Isoletes. Devon
PS Kim here – the sea lion video was taken here; Anson was diving and playing with a sea lion while filming it.
Current position is Latitude 00 degrees 43 minutes South ; Longitude 135 degrees 27 minutes West. Coming up: blogs on blissful sailing and crossing the equator!

One thought on “Window from the past, part II

  1. Yahoo- you are across the equator. Look forward to seeing photos whenever you can send after making landfall – maybe in less than a week? All is well here- we start our day with sending you weather information then having an outing then returning to see if we got a sail on blog entry. Loved hearling about all the fish at Partida!
    Hugs,Louise

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