Thursday, April 26, 2012

Snorkelling & flamingos

On our way to our snorkelling site today, we saw GIANT manta rays in the water close to the boat. Did I say GIANT? They were easily 5 m (14 feet) wide and can be as large as 8 m (26 feet). Each is different as they actually have marks in their stomach that are their fingerprints. Thus they can be identified by taking a picture of their stomach and then releasing them. Several have been tagged and their behaviour is being studied. It was very difficult for us to get a photo as they would go deep as soon as we were close.

The boat took us out to an area called Los Tuneles to snorkel. As we approached, we saw blue-footed boobie birds and the small Galápagos penguins on the rocks. This was a great site with all of the tunnels, or bridges, to snorkel under or through. In one area, there was even a light under the water.

Snorkellers heading towards light with entry/exit of tunnel at right/left

Other than a chocolate chip starfish spotted by Dee, we did not see too much sea life. But at the next site that we were taken to, Cabo Rose, we saw so many turtles that once again were not afraid of humans.

Picture perfect - Dee with turtle (photo courtesy of Aaron & Dee)

See www.ces.clemson.edu/~simms/cousteau/: the above photo is reminiscent of the insignia used on Jacques Cousteau's boat, the Calypso. After a fabulous day of great sites with the tour boat, we returned to Isla Isabela where we sat by the beach for a cold beer. Then we noticed this unusual sight - something that you could only see in the Galápagos!

Don't bug me, I'm sleeping!

We then walked to a nearby site for more snorkelling at Concha y Perla, well at least Aaron and Dee did. Jordan and I rested in the shade after a very busy day. They saw a turtle and another chocolate chip starfish. We ended the day watching 2 flamingos in a serene bay. Their exquisite colour and tranquility was quite breathtaking.


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