“Look, right there!” Tom was the first on our boat to spot one.
“Look! It’s one of those red balloon chest thingies!”
“A cormorant?! Cool where?!”
“See that bush over there? Its that little red speck to the right.”
I narrowed my eyes and scanned the green foliage. “I think I see it!”
By this time everybody else from the boat was on the top deck excitedly pointing at the red speck and vainly trying to capture it for all eternity on film. If only we knew how stupid we looked.
We had just woken up to the breathtaking views of the Isla Genovosa.
Neither of us had slept well the night before, though we certainly did not suffer that disconcerting moment one has so often traveling when you wake up with no idea where you are. “I swear the door was over there last night” you think groggily as you trip over in the wrong direction pulling a towel over your chones and shoving your feet in the wrong boots.
No we were most certainly on a boat, and the violent lurching took a bit of getting used to. Luckily after that first night the violent lurching magically felt like the gentle rocking of a cradle. Maybe even caused by the toe of a kindly nursemaid. Knitting. Wearing a lace cap.
But I digress.
Dong, dong, dong! The ship’s bell signaled our imminent departure and we all dutifully gathered on the back deck to load into the Zodiacs for our first “away team” island exploration. By the end of our hike onto the island we not only knew that the “birds with the red balloon things” were actually Great Frigatebirds (apparently there are Magnificent ones too, but those weren’t on the island) but we were literally almost stepping on them, red balloons puffed out and blazing red without even bothering to snap a half-hearted photo. How quickly we are desensitized and how foolish we realized we had been that morning when we all struggled to snap a photo of a bird so far in the distance!
The “red balloony thing” is actually a blood red gular sac that is inflated over a period of 20 minutes. Their bright red blood pumping through the engorged sac; acting as a beacon for the lady birds. A testament to their suitability as a mate. They look pretty funny when flaccid too. Feel free to insert your own joke here regarding the difficulty of hiding that big red thing behind a math book.
Oh how I love snorkeling!!!!!!!!!
It takes the only things I dislike about being in the ocean out of the equation. Of course I am referring to not being able to see or breathe. We snorkeled with spotted eagle rays, and sea lions and many beautiful tropical fish. There is something about seeing a ray in the water that just makes my heart beat harder and slower. Everything around it and me just melts. Wow.
And it’s only 10:30 am
This is going to be the best. week. ever.