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3/21/2015 6:46 am  #11


Re: Goose's Excellent Adventure

Transfer to Santa Cruz

It was time to explore a new island. This involved a two hour boat ride aboard a ferry called the Podmar.
I was surprised to find that the Podmar looked very little as I imagined a "ferry" to be. The boat is actually a large speedboat with two huge Mercury outboard engines.

http://www.whitlamabroad.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/P1010853.jpg



So, we embarked on a two hour, kidney busting, rollercoaster ride. I was thankful for my transderm scope patch, as I can get seasick on Lake George.

We arrived in Santa Cruz in the late after noon, and rode a water taxi to our Hotel, the Red Mangrove Inn. The accomodations were lovely. Right on the water. I noticed a large deck spilling out from the bar. Suddenly I craved a cold beer. I grabbed a Club Beer and sat down in a lounge chair and met one of the locals.


https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xtf1/v/t1.0-9/10408884_902709766418854_5750173352478382355_n.jpg?oh=db7275f265179622bebfcdb3b6b94191&oe=55B6D91E&__gda__=1433396549_dca33c17030cc9088595c78e4f217782


Sea Lions are everywhere in the Galapagos. They are the only mammal you are likely to see, and they seem to love what man has done with the place.

The entire archipelago is a national park, and no one is permitted to shoo the sea lions away even if they wanted to. It makes for some interesting entertainment.

https://scontent-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hvideo-xfp1/v/t42.1790-2/11027529_902710893085408_1949929298_n.mp4?efg=eyJxZSI6ImZiY2RuX3ZpZGVvX3JhdGVsaW1pdF9yb2xsb3V0Mix2X3JvbGxvdXQifQ%3D%3D&oh=18e8920d3b459e38a18588dad4300dcd&oe=550D8147



Sea lions are social animals, living in family groups. They are noisy, continuoslly jostling, barking, charging and snapping at each other. But it's a lot like Italian soccer. There's lots of drama, but nobody ever really gets hurt.

https://scontent-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xaf1/v/t1.0-9/10405656_902012983155199_1310810704733856456_n.jpg?oh=916bfcd2fbebc0260852a89663b2aed7&oe=55B7BBE7



https://scontent-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/13660_902869513069546_3998579914496776464_n.jpg?oh=8ef551a3a50c13e09cffffe34fc3992e&oe=55B2D2FF

Last edited by Goose (3/21/2015 7:02 am)


We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 
 

3/21/2015 9:22 am  #12


Re: Goose's Excellent Adventure

 That video of the sea lions is too funny! They appear to react the same way we do when someone wants us to give up a lounge chair. Or they could possibly be doing their impression of drunken burping tourists on vacation. I love it!

 

3/21/2015 9:56 am  #13


Re: Goose's Excellent Adventure

Day Three

Snorkeling off Santa Cruz

On a sunbathed morning 6 of us + Pablo and our skipper shoved off for a snorkelling and kayak adventure.

We were in a small open boat like this towing 4 kayaks behind us.

https://scontent-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/1743519_902921273064370_6352003415457588418_n.jpg?oh=327fc6b4554228bab8b06ed2ace668ac&oe=55B7C34E


We headed for the rather narrow body of water that separates Santa Cruz from baltra island, it's northern neighbor. The channel is a few hundred yards wide and contains mangroves and a reef. We were headed to the waters to swim with the white tippped reef shark. These sharks are small sharks that feed primarily on squid, octopus, and crustaceans. The sharks are harmless to humans.

We left the boat about 50 yards from the mangroves, and nearly immediately found the sharks.

https://scontent-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10277437_10205807260636687_3099346700369966887_n.jpg?oh=c4c08fa9bdc0e0496101b0dceb8ef750&oe=55BB4D54


http://static1.squarespace.com/static/5006128ce4b0830aa84ee2e1/50fea406e4b0e7255a600784/50fea406e4b0e7255a600e27/1358865439132/WhiteTip+Shark_Fiji.jpg



https://fbcdn-video-o-a.akamaihd.net/hvideo-ak-xpf1/v/t42.1790-2/11017033_10205807943373755_354487561_n.mp4?efg=eyJxZSI6ImZiY2RuX3ZpZGVvX3JhdGVsaW1pdF9yb2xsb3V0Mix2X3JvbGxvdXQifQ%3D%3D&oh=524f1c27c0f99fdb374a49e117273959&oe=550DA628&__gda__=1426957852_b66cde93d0a8551286a04cb4ddca3a57


We also saw two large rays. After returning to the boat, we moved up the channel looking for a place to kayak.
While doing that we observed multiple shark fins clustered in shallow water near a rocky outcrop.
http://cassandrabrooks.com/resources/sharks.jpg


Pablo quickly identified these as black tipped sharks. Also a relatively small shark, however the black tip has been known to bite swimmers, so some discretion was called for here.

Pablo, and the boat pilot were puzzling over why these sharks were clustered in shallow water. Were they involved in a mass feeding? Perhaps, but the guides had never seen such activity. Just then the pilot uttered "Dios Mio!". I immediately saw it. I large shadow in the torquoise water glided silently towards the boat. We sat in silence as a large, 4-5 meter long tiger shark glided the length of our boat, not 15 feet away.
Here's the video:

https://youtu.be/2I91DJZKRxs


OK, so that isn't the actual video.
Truth is, we we so stunned that no one thought to grab a camera, and it was over in a few seconds. In reality I remember it more like this:

http://njscuba.net/zzz_biology/sharks_tiger_above.jpg


Anyway, it was a large shark. And a dangerous one. The mystery of the clustered small sharks was solved. They we hiding from the tiger, which is known to feed on fish, turtles, seals, and,,,,,,, smaller sharks.

We never saw it again. However, Pablo thought it wise that we go to another area to kayak. Or as he put it, "We don't get out of the boat no more in this place".

I wholeheartedly agreed.
https://youtu.be/_4dFDBYWuTc

All's well that ends well. We found safe waters for kayaking and snorkeling the rest of the day.

https://scontent-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/10418899_10205807263756765_4004279460878237357_n.jpg?oh=ea7314053862cb3f99d3300ecc3bbd1a&oe=557EE023


https://scontent-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/10150770_10205807233916019_6032144270826047617_n.jpg?oh=8ab39eb62a822bf3986114e0ee73da9b&oe=55798255

Last edited by Goose (3/21/2015 10:01 am)


We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 
     Thread Starter
 

3/21/2015 10:12 am  #14


Re: Goose's Excellent Adventure

 Between the Jaws reference and the "We don't get out of the boat no more in this place", I'm practically crying into my coffee from laughing. 

(in keeping with United States current events, one has to ask why the "white" tipped shark is considered fine, but the "black" tipped shark is the menace. Oceanographic racism? Hmmmmm. 

 

3/21/2015 10:24 am  #15


Re: Goose's Excellent Adventure

BYOB wrote:

 Between the Jaws reference and the "We don't get out of the boat no more in this place", I'm practically crying into my coffee from laughing. 

(in keeping with United States current events, one has to ask why the "white" tipped shark is considered fine, but the "black" tipped shark is the menace. Oceanographic racism? Hmmmmm. 

I was a little taken aback when, After swimming with white tip sharks "in perfect safety", we traveled all of 400 yards of open water to where the black tips were, and Pablo said that this was not a safe place.
"Are the sharks not allowed to move around?", I asked, my voice expressing some concern,,,,,


We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 
     Thread Starter
 

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