Saturday, June 5, 2010

Friday June 4, 2010

Friday June 4, 2010

Above: The port in Puerto Ayora

After a fun night in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island, we made it back to the boat safely. This morning we caught a water taxi that transferred us to our snorkeling boats – the Iguana and the Queen Karen (obviously named after our fearless leader). The ride over to Santa Fe Island – an hour long – was a bit rough, to say the least. Three people managed to get sick.

The actual snorkeling was fantastic. Our guides took us to a sea lion colony in a quiet bay and gave us a tour of the area before we jumped in. We saw boobies, sea lions, sting rays, a few sharks, a couple sea turtles and tons of different fish. The sea lions were really playful and curious and liked to swim in circles around us and follow us.

Below: Several playful sea lions

After a nice lunch on board the boats, we returned to the Melville across really choppy water again. The ride back was a bit scary at points, but only one person got sick (their name rhymes with sick).

Above: A 5 foot shark swimming at the bottom of the bay

A few people opted to go back to shore for the day – Karen and Denny had a meeting, and enjoyed some time on the beach with Allison.

A couple hours after we all got back to the ship, it got underway and we watched an awesome sunset behind Santa Cruz Island before returning to our watches.

In Puerto Ayora we dropped off a few people – the HMRG group, Angela from the Darwin station, and Miguel from INOCAR – which was a bit sad. We also picked up several new people – Chris Sinton from Redlands, Mark Kurz from Woods Hole, Stuart from the Darwin station, and Carlos from INOCAR. Everyone is excited to get to know them better over the next two weeks!

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