Monday, 9 July (Part IV)
First the snorkeling.
I can’t tell you much about it since I didn’t participate. Mui’s not much for words. His succinct description often consists of three words: “It was great.” He did say a few more words when he came out of the water this morning: “Boy, that water is cold!” Not that it stopped him from staying out for the duration of the snorkel! He was certainly glad that I had nagged him into buying a full body snorkeling skin to wear under the long-sleeved, short-legged wetsuit. (I refrained from saying, “I told you so.”)
All geared up, Mui’s ready for his first-ever cool-water snorkel.
I can’t get Mui to put pen to paper (yeah, I write enough for the both of us). He takes underwater videos, though. Here’s a two-minute video he put together for our — yours and mine, that is — virtual snorkeling pleasure.
(The IDs are from the marine life guide in the cabin; but it turned out to be inadequate, so we resorted to the internet, too. If you disagree with any of the IDs, drop us a comment so that we can make corrections.)
Enjoy the sea lion and the colorful fish!
OK, now that Mui’s in the water, let’s move onto my time on the beach.
As great as the walk to the grottoes was (post here), my favorite part of the morning was the time I spent on the beach while most everyone else was snorkeling.
Why? Well, it wasn’t because I saw anything I had not already seen earlier in the morning. The time on the beach was my favorite, because the TIME WAS MINE, AND MINE ALONE. At my own pace. Stopping when I wanted to stop; for as long as I wanted to stop. Sitting quietly and spending time with one species or another.
So, here’s a photo essay of MY TIME!
these sea lions were snoozing here when we landed two hours ago; nothing has changed.
In a cove nearby, I find two more sea lions. Yes, they are sleeping too.
This poor sea lion was hounded by point & shooters and had to find respite in the ocean.
There’s nothing wrong with using a P&S camera; but people … we’re here to enjoy
the wildlife without changing their behavior … please be considerate of them.
I have to admit that the hounding worked in Mui’s favor. When I saw that the sea lion was headed towards Mui, I called it out to his attention. That sea lion he was swimming with in the video … this is the one.
snorkelers, look up; there’s a brown pelican flying over you.
Immature Sally Lightfoot Crabs don’t have the brilliant colors of the adults.
the dark coloring serves as excellent camouflage against the lava rocks.
Yellow warblers are like a ray of sunshine on this drab day.
lava lizards — male (above) and female (below).
Sea lions sleep right side up or upside down — it doesn’t seem to matter to them.
The far end of the beach from the snorkelers and pangas. I have this area to myself entirely.
I find the textures of the eroded cliffs fascinating.
This is the best I can do with the ghost crabs on this beach; they have an amazing
sense of motion and scurry down into their burrows at the slightest vibration.
I'm afraid I have another series of marine iguanas to share with you. Sorry about the clipped claws; I was keeping an eye on the waves coming ashore and not paying full attention to my composition :-)
All too soon, it was time to head back to the ship. Mui was amongst the last to leave the water, and we dallied as long as we could. But when it was time for the last zodiac to leave, we had no choice but to embark it for the short ride to the Xpedition.
As a brown pelican looks on, the zodiacs start heading back to the Xpedition.
back aboard, snorkelers rinse their wetsuits before giving them to a naturalist to hang.
the snorkel bag, with the rest of the gear, is also rinsed before being hung to dry.
A great morning; a great first landing. Now to get a bite to eat and rest before the afternoon excursion. Another island awaits us.