Once we were anchored the penquins swam around our boat. YES PENQUINS!!! I told you it is like another world. Is this really my life??? We were a bit tired from the overnight sail, so we got a couple hours sleep and then we were all off on tour of the island. Our first stop was an up close look at the blue footed boobie birds and penquins. There on the rocks, just a stone throw away from Artemo they all sat together in harmony. It was so cool to see these amazing blue feet. The next stop was a mangrove tree with a huge frigate bird in it. It's beak was all curved so strangely. He looked like he came straight out of the prehistoric days.
From there we went on to see the fields of marine iquanas. It reminded me of Indiana Jones and the scene with all the snakes. The ground was just littered with lizards. Totally freaked me out. The scurried to get out of your way. Next we saw white tip reef sharks. They love the shallow water in the mangroves and the nice current, so they just hang out. Very, very cool. Next to the shallows was this little pond and as we were standing there a penquin swam across the pond and as if on queue about 8 fish starting jumping and flying across the water. He was probably chasing them but it looked like a cherographed Disney film.
We then all got our snorkel gear on and went for snorkel. We saw tons of fish. The fellow who brought us out in his boat just followed all 9 of us along as we snorkelled the reef. With all the sea life around I was pretty nervous. Graham was so nice, he held my hand the whole time.
After our tour we all got together on Gromits boat and ate the massive Tuna Alex caught on the way to Isabella. Alex also did up the yummiest marinade for the fish. The Gromits were so impressed, it made him feel really good. The Gromits had another kid boat over for drinks after. Another great day.
The next morning we were up and off to shore before 8am. We had heard that the volcano tour is a must do. We had also heard that it was $45 per person. There was no way we could afford this, so we decided to go into town and see if we could negotiate with a taxi driver. We managed to do just that and we got the total trip for 9 people down to $180! Yippee.
We all hiked the 16kms, which was totally worth it. The volcano had craters and lava tubes. All sorts of different colors of hardened lava. Tons of hot little holes and the view from up top was breath taking. The guide said he couldn't believe that the kids could hike up hill and fast the way they did. He said he was expecting them to get tired. Made us all feel really good. They all seem to motivate each other.
On top of the volcano, overlooking fields of hardened lava we all ate fresh tuna salad sandwiches. Half way down we came across a fellow who had brought some people up on horses as far as he could and he was now waiting til they hiked back. He offered the kids each a ride on the horse. They were so thrilled. Alex said, "I have always wanted to ride a horse". I said, "I told you that this is the island where dreams come true".
Once we were all back at the boat we all jumped in and had a bath. Cornelia and I jumped in off our boats in unison as the kids counted down for us. Once I was in (of course again in my underwear) I look over and there is a huge charter catamaran with their 15 guests all sitting on the deck watching us. LOL. The only thing I could do was wave. They watched as we all lathered up and shampoo'd our hair.
I am so happy we decided to stop here. It was totally against the rules but luckily we have managed to avoid the Port Captain. We know we better not push our luck though, so in about an hour we are off to....MARQUESAS!!! Yes, today is the day, Wednesday, June 9th at 4pm (central time) we are leaving on our biggest ocean passage.
It is 3000 nautical miles away. If we were to average 5knots this would be 25 days. If we were to average 6knots this would be 21 days. Maybe we should have a contest. Everyone put their guess as to how many hours til we arrive in the Marquesas.
My guess will be 504 hours. I am already seeing ourselves happy, excited and grateful to be in Marquesas! We will try and post our position often.
Thinking of you all at sea.
Julie, Graham, Alex and Amelia