The pattern on this trip seems to be that odd numbered days will be good days, and even numbered days will be very, very good days. Today started with a panga / kayak ride through a mangrove lagoon to see sea turtles, penguins, rays, and “tree” lions. JB and I power kayaked back to the boat faster than the panga, and to cool off we jumped into water which we discovered was cold enough to cause us to scream out several newly-learned Spanish obscenities. We then took a brief panga ride to look for penguins, followed by snorkeling (and more obscenities). Greg again outdid himself when a pool within Pepe’s Cove turned out to have one hundred and one sea turtles in it — there were so many sea turtles within such a small space that it was sometimes tough to avoid them as they swam all around us. As the tide came in a channel opened allowing the turtles to escape, and a group of us stood and counted them as they swam past — standing and counting sea turtles swimming by ranks among the ten most relaxing things I’ve ever done.
The next scheduled event was a fairly mundane three hour boat ride up to Fernandina Island, but when we had nearly reached the island I spotted a group of fins and ran to the bow in time to see several dolphins riding our bow wake. Greg had the captain lower a panga, and a group of us set off to try and get in the water with them. Unfortunately the dolphins were skittish, so after twice jumping into the water only to have them disappear we settled for watching them from the boat. Definitely a neat experience.
The day’s last event was a hike on Fernandina Island, which is one of my favorites because it remains unspoiled. The marine iguanas were stacked on the sand, the flightless cormorants were out drying their wings, the crabs were scouring the beach, and numerous herons, sea lions, and other animals were also scattered about. We hiked back a bit on one of the lava flows, and returned to the panga just in time to watch the sun set over the ocean.