Sunday, March 13, 2005 - Isabela Island: Marielas Islets / Elizabeth Bay

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Marielas

After lunch and a short motor, we went snorkeling again, this time at the Marielas Islets. It was a little soon for another snorkel, but I was game. Usually 14 or 15 of us would snorkel, but this time only six were up for it. Tom went along just for the panga ride. Everyone else was busy lazing around on deck.

The water turned out to be kind of murky and choppy, but as soon as I dropped off the panga, I saw a great big sea turtle swimming a few feet below. Most of the time we ended up treading water and looking at the sea lions, boobies, and penguins on the islet. Cool! Tom had the best view, I think, from the panga.

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Precious penguin

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Penguin posse

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Awkward on land

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Graceful in the water

We snorkelers had just 20 minutes back at the boat to get ready before our next excursion. At 4:00 we all piled in the pangas for a ride around a cove in Elizabeth Bay. When we reached the cove, the drivers turned off the motors and quietly paddled around. The crew had also brought along three sea kayaks, and some people took turns paddling themselves around as well.

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A peaceful cove in Elizabeth Bay

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Marine tortuga

There were many big sea turtles, a spotted eagle ray, penguins, great blue herons, pelicans, flightless cormorants (hilarious looking), and on and on. I took so many photos I annoyed myself. Then my camera battery died. Tragic! But Tom was in a sea kayak at the time, and I suddenly realized he had left his camera in the panga. I grabbed his camera and again fired away with abandon! Another fantastic sunset! What a day! Top that!

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Flightless cormorant

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Sensational sunset

Tom broke out the star chart tonight as we surveyed the billions of stars. I saw Orion, the Big Dipper, and the Southern Cross. The Milky Way was clearly visible. I'd never seen so many stars. Tom and the French ladies identified other constellations as well, but my imagination only goes so far. I can't put two stars together and in my mind see the Crusades!

 

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