Published: May 11th 2006February 11th 2005
Catch of the Day
We would take this boat around the island - whale watching - on the way to work. A bad day at sea is better than a good day in the office.
We left Puerto Vallarta in a chartered Cessna Caravan to go to Socorro Island, part of the Islas Revillagigedo, about 400 km west of the Mexican coast.
Socorro is known as a diving destination, and has an amazing variety of life in the ocean, but the island itself is occupied only by a small Mexican Navy base on the South East corner. High winds, rain, salt water and poor roads make it a tough environment for equipment and people. Sheep have damaged some of the indigenous life, but the island is still home to the Socorro mockingbird; there are so many crabs that in some places you cannot help but step on them. After dark they come out on the roads - arms raised ready to fight the jeep. There is even a nocturnal local bird which feeds exclusively on these crabs.
Before we arrived, we were prepared for spartan accomodations, plain food, and tough working conditions by a collegue who had visited the island before. The longer we waited in the rain at the airport for a jeep the more pessimistic we got. But things started to look up after we met the Commanding Officer and were put
Locals call them the bird of 400 sounds.
up in a comfortable guest house. Mexican Navy food is not bad, but black beans three times a day wears thin after a while.
The scenery at the island was beautiful. Driving home one evening we saw a rainbow to the east while the sunset over the ocean to the west.
Most parts of the island can only be reached by boat. One of our work sites at 'North Beach' required a 2 hour trip in a whaling boat. These were long, wet, rough rides made interesting by the excellent fishing (trolling with a bare hook) dolphins, whales and wicked scenery. Since there were no restaurants on the beach we would enjoy a fish fry before returning to the base.
There are more photos below