travelling the seven parts of the world
Mar 29th, 2008

Day 3: Santiago and Rabida

On Santiago Island, we got out at Egas Port, a nice black sand beach, where apparently some guy once tried to set up a salt mine. That failed pretty quickly, as has every industry but tourism on these islands.

We could do a lot of bird watching on this island, take for example this picture:

What happened was that a Sea Lion had caught a fish, but being a mammal, he needed to get on top of water to eat. At that point a boobie caught the fish out of the Sea Lion's mouth. A frigate bird saw this, and immediately followed the boobie, until it dropped the fish on some rock, where a pelican saw it. And this is a picture of a frigate trying to grab the fish out of the pelican's mouth, with a few marine iguanas in the background.

We also managed to get some close up shots of the blue legged boobie. His legs really do look a bit weird.

This was also our first encounter with a shark, albeit, we were on land and it was in the water. Everyone was just minding their business walking on the sea shore, when we could see this from the cliffs:

The shark was apparently just patrolling the waters to make sure there are no intruders. We did also see a marine tortoise, but I guess that does not count as an intruder.

We ended the morning with some more snorkeling off the beach, but only saw a ray hiding under a rock, and some nice fish. No sharks or tortoises in the water that afternoon.

At 1:30 we had a special snorkeling tour, where they took us by boat to deeper waters and let us snorkel there. This was the best snorkeling I had ever had. We started off the day with a shark - a heartbeat skipping experience - that we found hanging out near a rock. For some reason Liene swam away really quickly, I have no idea why. Then we saw a Sea Lion dive into the water. This guy is really fast, so you can just see him swim by and he's gone in seconds. To end the day, we saw a marine tortoise. Me and Liene stalked the poor guy for ages, but it was really great to see a wild tortoise just swim about in front of you.

After that we went for a walk on Rabida island, but there wasn't much to see. So we took a boat ride to see more of the island, and that ended up going nearly to the same spot we snorkeled in. We didn't find any sharks anymore, but we did find rays, which you can see above.

After that we were off to the ship, and that was it for day 3.