Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! What a day….
Me and my early starts have become buddies, so of course today we hung out! I managed to squeeze in a quick breakfast – it seems I am being converted to coffee to start my days – before hitting the travel store to get my wet suit, flippers and snorkelling mask. Then, it was off to the water taxi and onto the boat (Melito) to head off for the first stop of the day….Rosa Blanca.
This island is beautiful. We walked across a crisp white beach, black volcanic rocks and onto white coral to get to our snorkelling site. I reluctantly squeezed myself into my wet suit…the water was warm enough to not need one here but with my lily white skin and the sun already unbelievably hot I figured covering up would probably be the best bet. As I was changing, there were some young sea lions almost laughing at me and playing in the water. Once I got my flippers on (funniest thing ever watching me walk in those…..think Mr Bean sketch!) I waddled to the water and took the plunge. The sea lions didn’t stay around long, just long enough to get tauntingly close…
There were so many fish! Such an array of colour, size and shape. I couldn’t get my eyes to look quickly enough at them all! Amongst the fish we spotted sea turtles. It was so exciting – one of them was massive and I swam right above it!
Walking the loop around the island we spotted many birds….one being the famous blue footed booby! They are quite amazing and they are as blue as they look on TV. We made it to a spot of paradise….or so we thought!
It was crystal clear blue waters, white sand, beautiful mangroves, black lava rocks, sea turtles swimming nearby, black and red crabs scuttling about…..and then….the horrible sand flies! They set a challenge for the mosquitos, the swines! For a change though, I think I came away the least bitten! After 10 minutes of suffering, I waded back to the boat ready for the next stop.
Next up was a scenery stop – Punta Pitt. Here is where all three types of boobies can be found. Our guide pointed them out. There was so many birds here, it was insane! One of the floating rocks (island?) next to it had so many birds you could hardly see through the swarms! We even saw a random tropical bird there…
Next was a lunch stop then some beach time. By this time the sun was so incredibly hot, I was desperate for shade but there was none to be found anywhere. I took refuge in the sea having a quick snorkel and found a huge school of tiny fish! They moved so in sync and precisely I was fascinated (yes the below is a picture of fish).
Back into the boat again for one more photo stop and the our final stop – Leon Dormido or Kicker Rock. I was a bit nervous about snorkelling here. You had to tip yourself over the boat edge for one, there was a strong current for two and the boat left you to meet you the other side for three. However, I seem to becoming a less thought more action person and before I could get nervous I was in the sea down one of the rock valleys looking right at a Galapagos shark.
The first “valley” got me a little flustered. There was so much to look at and I hadn’t sorted my flippers etc properly so I was fussing a little and the waves here were big ones that took you up and down quite quickly. Its safe to say with my poor coordination and fussing I got a few mouthfuls of salt water!
Before long we followed the edge of the rocks and made it to the second valley. Here was calmer and I had sorted myself out by now and was ready to rock and roll. Good job really as here we were so lucky! We got to see sea turtles, sea lions, Galapagos sharks, black tipped reef sharks, hammerhead sharks, eagle rays and more fish than I could shake a stick at. It was one of the top things I have done so far… breathtaking. Kicker rock was kick ass!
It took the boat about an hour to get back to town. A few of us then had a beer on the seafront talking and listening to the sea lions chatter. It was nicely chilled after a packed day.
I am already shattered and it’s still early. I did pretty well on the sunburn front….my wet suit saved me for the most part and what little I have doesn’t look bad and should hopefully fade tomorrow or the next day if I am careful. I count that as a success!!!