25. November 2008 12:53
HELLO from Guayaquil! We returned to Guayaquillast night after a week in the amazing Galapagos Islands.I’ve never experienced more tame wildlife in my life. After so many years aboutreading about this place, it was a treat for us to finally come and spend ourhoneymoon here. Just us and a few thousand of the world’s most friendlywildlife species!
We went diving one day and swamwith hammerhead sharks (which was a bit scary for me, but exhilarating),numerous marine turtles, white tip reef sharks, sting rays, sea lions and more.Unlike the graceful reef sharks, the hammerheads are so quick so you never knowwhere they are. The best was swimming with a sea lion at the end of oursecond dive. He was so curious about us, playfully checking us out with hishuge eyes swimming around and underneath us. He was especially curious aboutKevin. A Galapagos turtle came mask to nose with me before heading over to ourdive master and taking a playful bite out of his head. It was as if he had apersonal vendetta with the dive master! Fortunately he was fine.
The boat, the BELUGA, was a greatexperience. The highlight was crossing the equator at sunset on the west sideof Isabela Island - all 15 of us were standing with the captainwatching the GPS unit, waiting for latitude 0 when we saw a set of dorsal finspop out of the water. The amazing whale shark was feeding at the equator. HisHUGE mouth was open to capture all the plankton in the upwelling waters and wehappened to be passing at the right moment. I could have fit inside his mouth,it was so huge. We were all screeching with excitement over the giantfish.
Just as we thought this was thebest moment ever, we saw a manta (the biggest ray in the sea) feeding inthe same area, and then the grand finale: a tropical whale was spittingwater through his blow hole! All with a red and pink equatorial sunset asa backdrop. George, our bartender dressed in his silver and black bartendervest, brought us all a cocktail to celebrate. El Capitanspent an hour chasing the whale shark so we could coo and aw over thismagnificent creature. Monica, our naturalist, was a wealth of knowledge and wasjust as excited to see the whale shark as us. It had been 2 years since she hadlast seen one. Monica has been a naturalist here for 14 years so ourexperience would not have been the same without her. Her understanding,passion, enthusiasm and knowledge allowed us an in-depth understanding ofthe islands.
Katie and Kevin