Followed wisdom shared by veteran cruisers SV Totem to "Just Go!" Immediately, our joy factor increased by 10, and that was just getting around the point to Bahia de los Muertos.
We enjoyed an uncrowded anchorage and sighting a lone whale off our beam. Staging for the +/- 42hr crossing to mainland Mexico was mostly time spent stowing gear and resting. Our next anchorage would be Isla Isabel, also called the "Galapagos of Mexico".
Leaving Muertos at 2pm, our departure was timed to allow a daylight approach to Isabel. Calm seas, sunset and moon waxing made our first night of this passage very peaceful. Calm seas continued with long languorous swells. We encountered whales, then a large school of dolphins -- dozens peeled off to turn around and ride our bow, joyfully racing and arcing in pairs and threes until they fell away to rejoin the rest of the school. Calm seas are napping seas. Seals float on their back with their flippers resting over their belly or they may lay on their side in huddled numbers, each with one fin raised up in the air.
Second night passed and we can definitively confirm that Venus rising is not an approaching vessel.
Isla Isabel is volcanic rock emerging 40 miles off the mainland. Isolated in many ways, there is a fisherman camp in one small protected cove and a building that is being used as dormitories for conservation students. Iguanas rule the ground near shore while frigate birds, along with blue-footed and brown boobies, rule the sky and ground at cliffs edge. Fortunate for us, birds are nesting now! Frigate birds look prehistoric and the fledglings... only a mother could think adorable. Boobies? ....now there's a lovely, if funky bird. Mike bushwhacking got us to the wave-carved black-rock tide pools on the island's other side of the sheltered camps. The crashing waves and tidal marine life did not disappoint.
When we got back to SV Calla Lily holding fast at our bucking anchorage in thin sand and rocks, Mike dove the anchor line and physically moved anchor chain from under a rock ledge. The waves and currents around that island make for fantastic sea life but uncomfortable hours at anchor. Day or night, we were being pitched side to side without relief. Did the mama and baby humpback whales circumnavigating the island (right past our boat) and the breaching, lob-tailing others that we could see and hear a mile away make up for sleepless nights? YES! Yes they did.