Thursday, January 27, 2011

To Espiritu Santo and Los Islotes

Today we took a lancha (or panga) out of La Paz, along the west side of Espiritu Santo and Isla Partida to Los Islotes, not an island but a large rock formation and the home to a large sea lion colony.There were nine of us plus an English-speaking guide and the boat captain. These two couples were, amazingly, from Regina Saskatchewan. The couple in the middle live about two blocks from Glenn.
It was chilly, quite windy and the seas were as high as 3 feet. This made our ride quite bumpy and it took 1 1/4 hours to get to Los Islotes.
As we approached Los Islotes, we saw a feeding frenzy. A school of bonita were feasting and it looked like the water was boiling.

This very large male had just gotten out of the water and was loudly making his prescence known.
The brave people on the boat (not me, Justin, or one of the Regina guys; and the other Regina guy got in the water but couldn't let go of the boat ladder) went swimming with the sea lions - although everyone was cautioned to stay away from the big ones. To me, Glenn was even braver - no wet suit!
Glenn shot these with my underwater camera:

On our way back, the captain deftly took us through an arch with maybe 3 feet clearance on each side.
Lunch was in a cove on Isla Partida. Ceviche and totopos for those who like typical Mexican fare. Ham sandwiches who prefer something tamer.

This rock formation is known as The Mask. The native people used to put offerings in the mouth to insure good fishing.

A dead frigatebird floating in the water. That's a pufferfish in its mouth. (Sorry, Paula, I know you don't like it when I post pictures of dead things.) The pufferfish is generally believed to be the second-most poisonous vertebrate in the world, second only to the Golden Poison Frog.

We stopped at a cove called La Balandra, mostly to see the famous Mushroom Rock, but

just to the left of the rock, there was a photo shoot taking place. The model is at the far left.

As a finale to our day-long trip, we went looking for whale sharks. First you spot a large shadow in the water, then gently cruise alongside it. We found several. What amazing animals - they are slow-moving filter-feeding sharks, non-threatening to humans, the largest fish in the ocean. This small one was feeding near the surface, it's big mouth wide open. Two of our group jumped in and swam with them.

Heading back to shore.
We were all too exhausted to cook dinner, so we went to the Buffalo Grill. They cooked their meats and vegetables over a wood fire.

Another wonderful day in La Paz!

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