"" Writer's Wanderings: Galapagos Journal - Fernandina Island Snorkel Two

Monday, June 03, 2013

Galapagos Journal - Fernandina Island Snorkel Two

A hamburger on the back deck and a short nap and we were ready for our afternoon excursion. We originally signed up for the deep water snorkel and the zodiac ride to follow but decided that we needed a little time off. We canceled the zodiac ride.

The Xpedition changed position to a spot called Vicente Roca where the coastline of Fernadina became colorful and dramatic from the previous action of the Ecuador volcano. Ochre striped cliffs were pounded by the waves but in the slight curve of the shoreline where the arch of a volcanic cave welcomed the cold blue waters of the ocean the water seemed a little calmer and more promising for a snorkel adventure.

The water this time for our snorkel was even colder than the morning’s had been and to our dismay, was also murky and visibility was complicated even more by the angle of the late afternoon’s sun. But we did see turtles.

Every so often out of the murkiness, we would come across a turtle or you might say a turtle would come across us. I’m not sure who was the more startled. We even began seeing them in twos and threes. I wondered if they felt safer in numbers seeing the number of us in the water.

After watching the video, can you see the big difference between the sea turtle and their land counterpart the tortoise? Sea turtles have more streamlined shells and the most obvious difference is that the tortoise has feet while the sea turtle has flippers or fins to propel through the water with grace and ease.

Just about the time I felt like calling it quits, giving up the frustrating visibility and cold water, another sea turtle would appear and fascinate me with its presence and grace in the water. Eventually though we did have to head for the zodiac and the warmth of the surface where the sun would chase the cold as we skimmed the waves back to our ship.

Having passed on the offered zodiac excursion, we instead climbed up to deck 6 where the hot tub was located. Have I mentioned that the Xpedition had no elevator? Our stateroom was on deck 5 and it seemed a long way up on some days after a long hike on the islands. The hot tub warmed us thoroughly and when we were done, we settled into our stateroom for a short nap before dinner.

I should mention here as well, there were several nights of entertainment after our 7:30 dinner hour. The naturalists performed music and song one night, karaoke was another night and the day that we crossed the equator twice—once before lunch and once in the late afternoon as we rounded Fernadina Island, there was an equator crossing party complete with King Neptune. While we were sorry to miss out on those events, we were lucky to stay awake long enough to eat dinner. Fresh air and exercise truly did us in.

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