|13 Feb, Afternoon
We snorkeled in Pepe's Cove. New fish, Green Sea Turtles, Galapagos Penguins and Sea Lions, oh my! The cove is a maze of lava flows partially or wholly submerged, with narrow channels and deep holes. Twisty underwater caves I didn't have the air to follow, but a turtle swam in one and didn't come out while I was around.
Large schools of fish, including stunning Goldfish Groupers. Galapagos Penguins and Flightless Cormorants zipped by, much too fast to photograph with an underwater Instamatic. Each snorkel has been distinctly different. The water is colder here on the west side; I wouldn't last long without the wet suit.
After the snorkel and some very welcome hot chocolate, we took a panga ride around the Islas Mariela, small rocky islets crawling with birds. The chop was too rough for photography, but the birding was very good. There were enough fish in the water that the birds were undisturbed by us and, in a kind of manic feeding frenzy, right before the panga Audubon Shearwaters, Brown Pelicans, Galapagos Penguins, Blue-footed Boobies and Brown Noddys were diving and fishing. A Galapagos Hawk supervised from a dead tree branch on the highest point on the largest islet.
We next motored through a mangrove lagoon at the very back of Elizabeth Bay. We had nice views of a Brown Pelican nest and, in a twist, a small harem of sea lions resting on mangrove branches - tree lions, if you will. I suppose because there is so little rain and so much rock, the water in the mangrove lagoon was quite clear, allowing views of fish and rays in the water.
I kayaked back to the Samba with Mary Zalar, with a quite nice sunset behind the Samba. Excellent day.
Galapagos Sea Lion pup in Pepe's Cove
Elizabeth Bay, Isabela Island
Copyright © 2002 Jim & Nancy DeWitt
All rights reserved