On our voyage out to Isla Isabela, we came across a huge school of spinner dolphin feeding. We trolled lines trying to get a nice tuna for dinner, but we were racing the sun to our anchorage. We anchored on the East side by two 200’ twisting rock spires called Las Monas. We took the dingy out to check out the surrounding water and stumbled across three humpback whales cruising along the island.
Later, grabbed our snorkeling stuff to see if we could find a reef and found a beautiful one in-between the two large rocks. We snorkeled for awhile and went back to the dingy to go grab camera gear. Then all of the sudden a humpback whale came up and blew right next to the dingy. Dad said, “get ready, I'll get in front of their path.” I jumped into the water waiting patiently but my dad was drifting further and further away. Then out of the blue here they come, the three whales we saw earlier that day, were headed right for me. The father escorting the mother and baby, was deeper below me, while the Mother and baby were just feet from me. The mother came and rolled her huge eye up so she could see me and then lifted her baby up to take a breath from the surface. This was the most amazing experience I have ever experienced in my life, it was as if she was accepting me. They never flicked their tails but just glided through the water next to me. I was so mad that I did not have a camera in my hands but I think it was meant to be. I really got to experience every detail rather than playing with cameras settings. On the way back to Catchin’ Moments to grab my camera and mom, I was on cloud nine.
The next day we took the dinghy to land to discover what Jaques Cousteau came here many years ago to film and study, the mating habits of frigates and blue footed boobies. We hiked through the bushes, where frigate birds had covered the tops with nests. The large all black males had their guar pouch inflated and would drum it with their beak as a mating call. The females have a white chest and are only fertile every other year. While walking down the path we found a fuzzy little white gosling (baby frigate) that had fallen from his nest. Toward the north end near Crater Lake, we found blue footed boobies in mating pairs everywhere and many female nesting on eggs. We meet Oscar a student from the University of Guadalajara studying the monogamous relationships of the boobies. They believe that the boobies are bonded for life. This little rocky island was paradise for my marine biology background.