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May 1st 2014
Published: May 2nd 2014
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Another early wake-up call, cleverly disguised as a “weather report”, 6:00 a.m. Our first outing of the day was a zodiac ride with a dry landing to the base of Bartolome Island. It is well advised to begin at this early hour, we are now just 16 miles from the equator and the sun heats the black lava rock very quickly, not to mention this excursion was a hike up 316 feet (378 stairs) to the top of the volcano. I consider this elementary practice for Machu Picchu. The view from the top of the rock was fabulous and you could see an underwater caldera that could be a miniature of the “Blue Hole” in Belize.

We went back to the ship for breakfast and then a trip to the beach for swimming and snorkeling. As we arrived there was a singular Galapagos penguin standing at attention to welcome is to “his” beach. We had an opportunity to try out the “Glass Bottom Boat”. We had two young travelers with us, Kevin and Lizzy, and they were our counters for the Red Starfish, spotting total of 165 ranging in size from about a 9 inches to 3 feet. We also saw the chocolate chip sea star.

Snorkeling from the beach was fantastic; I saw flounder, a sting ray, and over 25 other varieties of fish I really can’t name. Swimming near the Pinnacle Point I was about 4 feet from a Blue Footed Booby and he was very calm and content allowing me to observe him until I was the one who moved on. It is really astonishing and amazing to be so close to these animals. It is truly a wonderful experience, and reinforces the idea that if we all learn to respect one another it is unnecessary to have fear as an emotion. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the entire human race could adopt this philosophy??

After lunch we sail along Bainbridge Islets and then have another opportunity to deep water snorkel drifting along Sombrero Chino (Chinese Hat). Marine life I see include a giant sea cucumber, 2 Galapagos penguins sunning themselves in a small cove and another white tipped reef shark. One more day at sea. The weather has been good, raining only one day and the heat and humidity not nearly as intense as I had expected.

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