Saturday, March 14, 2015

March 10, 2015 - Tres Marietas, West Island

We arrived just after the sun came up, perfect timing with no boats there.   Our overnight passage had come to an end, and we were within 15 minutes of our ETA after travelling for almost 15 hours.  What better way to start the day than to have whales extremely close by; they were swimming between the islands.  The sight continues to amaze and humble us.

It was interesting and stressful to try to tie onto the metal can park buoy there.  Our bow is too high to grab the buoy from there so we have to back up to the buoy.  The conditions were a bit windy and rough which bounced the can buoy around enough that it was hitting the swimstep with a resounding boom.  We finally got a line attached to the buoy but quickly discovered we could not easily take it around to the bow so we had to back up to it one more time and put a much longer line through the metal ring with a plan to walk it along the side of the boat with Steve driving in hopes of staying close enough to continue to hold both ends of the line that Kathy had placed through the ring.  Passing the line through the ring would allow us to leave the buoy without having to go to the buoy to untie a line.  The line went from boat, to buoy, and back to the boat.  To leave we simply untied one end of the line from the boat and pulled it through the buoy's ring.  Quick and easy.  We got it to the bow on the first try and we were able to get all tied up.  We then put the dinghy down, deployed the anchor stabilizer poles as it was a bit rolly, and started our adventure.

We had the kids wear wetsuits as it was only 8am and we were worried that if we were snorkeling they may be cold.  Of course we started a hike and then Kevin got too warm.  What a beautiful island that we had all to ourselves.  That was until about 10am when the first boats started arriving and we quickly left the area.  There are only a few buoys and some large boats come out with tourists.  They have priority, and we certainly didn't want to have any sort of conflict with the locals.

Cindy's favorite place on the dinghy is on the bow.
We drove the dinghy through a tunnel, and this was a "skylight" in the ceiling.

Heading to the little tunnel through the island.
Cindy looking for submerged hazards.

Going through the tunnel.  It was pretty cool.

We drove the dinghy through a tunnel, and this was a "skylight" in the ceiling.

Kevin prefers to lay on a tube, sometimes dragging one foot in the water.
Leaving the dinghy on the beach.  Very soft sand.  Clear waters.
We walked under this arch to get to the beach on the other side.
The island is very rugged and covered with a variety of hearty grasses.
Hiking the self-guided nature walk.  Signs explained many features of the
island, and it's inhabitants.
Climbing a very crude trail.  It seems to lead to a
cave of some kind.
Inside the quite large cave at the end of the trail.
This is a natural tunnel, located at one end of the cave.
It came out the other side of the big rock hill.

Spectacular scenery everywhere you look.
Playing in the clear waters.
We took the dinghy under several arches today.  It is kind of exciting and
not something we ever got to do back home.
A pair of blue footed boobies.  
There were a lot of blue footed boobies on this island.  What a treat to see!
We we the only people on the island, so we feel like we were observing the
birds in their natural habitat.  In a few hours there would be at hundreds of tourists
here, arriving by tour boats of all shapes and sizes.

Adagio was the only boat here.  But, this is why we planned an 8:00AM arrival.
We wanted to be here before all the tour boats arrived.
Vulture and Boobie birds
Whales are very abundant in Banderas Bay.
It never gets old seeing a whale tail surface then gracefully disappear.

Hundreds of bird flocking above some fish that are in some kind of frenzy,
stirring up the waters.
Here you can see how turbulent the fish have made the water.  The birds are
just waiting grab the unsuspecting fish.

From Wikipedia:

The Marietas Islands were originally formed many thousands of years ago by volcanic activity, and are completely uninhabited. The islands are about an hour long boat ride west-northwest from the coast of Puerto Vallarta and are visited daily by hundreds of tourists, yet no one can legally set foot on the islands.In the early 1900s the Mexican government began conducting military testing on the islands because no one lived there. Many bombings and large explosions took place on the islands causing amazing caves and rock formations to be created. After a massive international outcry, started by scientist Jacques Cousteau in the late 1960s, the government eventually decided to label the islands a national park and therefore protected against any fishing, hunting or human activity.

1 comment:

  1. Love the postings and the pictures! Looks wonderful. Believe it or not it is a sunny day in laConner!