Day five. The day began at 6:15 AM with a kayak through one of the coves at Elizabeth Bay to look for sea turtles, penguins, “tree” lions and rays. While the rays disappointed the other animals were out in force, and JB and I (the 2003 team reunited) took advantage. The crew scared the hell out of us on the return as they were yelling and waving all of the kayaks towards the stern, convincing JB and I that a killer whale was chasing us or some other danger was imminent. Turns out they just thought we were racing and wanted to cheer. Oh well.
The highlight of the day, and possibly of the trip, followed when we snorkeled with about forty sea turtles in a pool in Peppys Cove. It was one of my favorite experiences from the 2003 trip, and while there weren’t as many turtles this time around it was as amazing or better. Floating in a pool that’s perhaps sixty feet across and no more than twenty feet deep while sea turtles glide by on every side is pretty awesome. I stayed in the water for as long as I could handle the cold, got out to warm up, and then snorkeled some more. Given the chance I could have stayed all day.
The remaining activities for the day were a panga ride to see more penguins, blue-footed boobies, flightless cormorants, frigate birds, and sea lions, followed by transit time up to the next site. Aaron’s and my attempts to search for whales and dolphins turned into a siesta instead, but the whales and dolphins seemed to be hiding anyhow. The day’s final activity was a walk near Alcedo Volcano to see land iguanas in an area that was underwater until the 1950’s when it rose fifteen feet in two days due to volcanic uplift. Amazingly the trip is now halfway done, althought tomorrow holds another highlight as we visit Fernandina Island and its many marine iguanas.