We’re getting good at this sailing thing! We just got back from yet another week out at the islands!
This time we had company, our friends over at Controlled Jibe had had a run of bad luck, and we met them and their also unlucky friends for dinner. Sabi and I had been planning on heading back out for a few days, and after chatting over dinner, we decided we should invite them along, hopefully offering a more relaxing few days than what the last few had been.
Katie and Mark had many things to organise before heading north to their new boat free life, but their, and now our, friends Bri and Rob from On the Horizon Line were free and came along.
A short ride out to the island was made more enjoyable by the jumping manta rays all around. I can only assume they like to come out later in the day, as we’ve only seen a couple at a time on all our previous trips, and this time they were everywhere we looked!
Crazy to think that despite recent global attempts to protect them, the local economy still includes plenty of taco stands and restaurants proudly advertising manta ray tacos. Add to this the ongoing shark fin and I can only assume the rest of the shark too, market as seen by our friends and you have to wonder. I realise that the local fishermen are only trying to make a peso and feed their families. For generations fishing is how they’ve done this, but its the changes to their technique that is making a difference. In the past they would only catch what they needed and things stayed in balance. Next the freezers arrived and all of a sudden they could catch more than what they needed and sell it at the local market to make a little extra, okay fair enough… Add to that cheaper and bigger outboards and all of a sudden they can go further and catch even more. Throw the gill nets into the equation and what you have is a sea that has been described as the “worlds aquarium” rapidly losing its marine life.
On our last day at anchor Bri, Rob and I took the dink north to Los Islotes to swim with the sea lions who live there. As soon as we jumped in the difference was amazing. We had all been snorkeling of the boat and nearby points, and I had been spending a lot of time in the water lately, but none of us had seen this much life in the water any where near here. The last time I had seen that many fish was years ago while snorkeling in Fiji. The only difference between Los Islotes and the rest of Isla Partida just a mile south – no fishing. Yeah, yeah, I know I have been fishing more lately, but the difference between a spear fisher dropping into the water and catching dinner and a fishing boat leaving a gill net out for a few days, or a pulling in a boat load of sharks to take to the local market is pretty significant. An opinion I know not everyone shares, even the Sea Shepherd crew don’t seem to be able to differentiate between recreational and commercial fishing.
Ranting aside, it was another great week at anchor in the sea with new friends, hiking, fishing and yoga… what more do you need?