Photographer’s dream

Trip Start Mar 02, 2011
Trip End Nov 20, 2011

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Flag of Ecuador  ,
Tuesday, September 13, 2011

First thing the next morning I blearily found my way onto the deck and it did take me several seconds to remember just where I was. Beautiful sunshine, gentle waves lapping against the shore and curious blue footed birds skimming the water next to the boat. Then a huge grin as it all clicked into place. Breakfast was even better than the food the previous day and I started to feel a little indulgent. Without much ado, we hopped onto the panga (dingy) and leapt ashore. This was Rabida Island that had a deep russet coloured sand beach. First stop was to inspect the blue footed boobies that I had seen from the boat. These are funny birds that supposedly take their name from the Spanish for clown bobo, due to their exaggerated footsteps during courting. Their colours looked fantastic against the red cliffs however I had cleverly packed my camera with my snorkeling equipment that had made its way to the other end of the beach.

We also saw plenty of sea lions and pelicans on this island and after our animal spotting we headed off round the headland in order to snorkel back. It felt like an age since I'd last been in the real ocean. Ah, what a treat! It was slightly chillier than I’m used to at Bondi but it was still heaven. Our small group saw a load of fish including a white tipped shark and some turtles but I was just in awe of the beautifully coloured tropicalfish and the largest starfish I’ve ever seen. Huge! I started to get pretty chilly despite my wetsuit and rashy so I zipped round and tried to warm up quickly.

During lunch we headed to Santiago Island and stopped at James Bay where some had a snorkel, others basked, and I headed off to investigate the rock pools. So much fun! If only I’d had my little shrimping net and a camp stove I’d have had a right good feed! I saw hundreds of pretty good sized crabs, most of them of the Sally Lightfoot variety. These are awesome little creatures mainly because they look so striking, particularly against the black lava that makes up the island. I suspect I have several hundred photos, oh dear!

When I had returned from my little escapade, we all set off for the afternoon’s adventure along the coast to see fur sea lions and boy did we?! The first sea lion we came across appeared to be quite unhappy and after watching intently for 5 minutes she started pushing and heaving and all sorts. "Yikes" my grey matter stirred, “something here is clicking”. I still remember distinctly as a 5 year old, being put through the torment that was witnessing of a calf being born. How well those memories returned as with horror I heard Billy say how lucky we were and maybe she would be delivering soon. Not for the first time in couple of days, my stomach trialled for the 2012 Olympic gymnastic team. Within another 5 minutes it was all over and a lovely little sea lion pup was flopping around. During my previous experience as I am often reminded by my parents, I mentioned that I hoped that (the noise, pain, grotesque amounts of blood) would never happen to me. I’d like to reconfirm those sentiments now although I’m very much in awe of the lioness’s efficiency. 10 minutes, tops. If she had a facebook status, I would “like”. After that we saw some more crabs, sea lions, iguanas and headed back to the boat for a well earned rest and more delicious food!
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