Saturday, January 05, 2013

Española Island and Suarez Point

Española Island
Gardner Bay

7:00 Breakfast
8:00 Wet landing, without shoes, beach time, snorkeling (optional)
10:00 Back on board
10:30 Snorkeling off of the dinghy
11:30 Back on board
12:00 Lunch

Suarez Point
15:00 Dry Landing, closed shoes, rocky trail, 1.8 km trail, albatross expedition
15:30 Back on board
18:30 Dinner

Last night’s sailing was incredibly rough, not that we weren’t warned. Everyone left the dining room by 8pm out of fear of not getting back to their room and ready for bed safely. We rocked and rolled, tossed and threw about like rag dolls. I usually love the movement for sleeping, but even I was getting a bit nauseous.  I had to stop reading and stay still on my back to relax my stomach. Then I woke at 4:30 am with the anchor being lowered.

Pancakes for breakfast with Aunt Jemima syrup really threw off the Italians and Danes at our table. They did not know what the syrup was for until I used a spoonful on one pancake. They seemed to enjoy it otherwise. No eggs today, but cantaloupe and pineapple with cereal and yogurt.

The dinghy took us to the beach at Gardner Bay on Española Island where we went nature walking along the beach. Dozens of sea lions littered the beach, making us cautious about keeping our 6 feet distance. The first thing we discovered was hermit crabs. Strolling along, we came across a turtle, but when too many gathered, she went back into the water. After they lay their eggs, they rest before returning to the sea. There were a number of iguanas of various colors, a hawk, mockingbirds, and pelicans again. Somehow a group of us starting talking about zodiac signs, when at last Omar our guide asked me mine. I responded with Capricorn, but no one asked the date. As of yet, the only birthday greeting I received was a quick one from Ron as we were getting ready for the day this morning. Of course without Internet getting other greetings is impossible.

When the group went for their snorkeling, I stayed behind. I did not want a repeat of yesterday’s fiasco and I do get short of breath easily when in a stressful situation. It was a lovely hour to relax by myself on the upper deck reading while stretched out on the lounge chair.

Lunch was incredible. We started with a soup, then beef in a gravy, cauliflower in cheese sauce, carrots mixed with peas, and green salad. Since I won’t eat the sweet dessert, they give me fresh fruit. I would love the sweet dessert.

A dry landing and rocky trail did not fully describe our afternoon excursion, but with a twist. We landed at a dock where 3 sea lions were sprawled out sunning; one was nursing. Omar tried driving them off by clapping, but wasn’t successful. This forced us to climb over the rocks to get around them. Once we were Ron stopped to take a picture of some birds just as one of the sea lions started to chase him.  It was more strenuous than I would imagine walking on the moon without shoes on. The rocks were treacherous, but the sites were just like a National Geographic special. There were hundreds of sea iguanas all over the island in various stages of color. When the males turn red with a blue spikes it is a signal they are ready to mate. We saw Blue Footed Boobies, Nasca boobies, mockingbirds, hawks, and other birds. Our 2 ½ hour walk was as strenuous as our hiking the glacier in New Zealand only without the heavy clothing, though we were warned to wear long sleeve shirts to prevent burning, it just added to the discomfort of humid and very hot air.

Dinner was spaghetti, not the best for me, but since it is my birthday and we did a good deal of exercise, I indulged. The sauce was full of vegetables and there was an additional salad. Getting my veggies in has been an important issue, sometimes a juggling act while on the cruise.

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