Thankfully we had a leisurely morning which began with breakfast in Darwin's Café. We were served eggs, bacon, pastry, juice and coffee buffet style.
At 10:00 am we took a Zodiac ride to Isabela Island and through the forest of mangroves where we saw Sea Turtles leisurely swimming around and periodically coming up for air, Galapagos Penguins who were not in the least bothered by the sight of us, Blue-Footed Boobys in flight (Yes, they exist!), and a Pelican breeding area. Also in the water were two types of Eagle Rays and Zebra Rays. It was fascinating. On the way back to the ship the waves were crashing as we watched more penguins swimming in the far distance.
In the afternoon we opted for a long Zodiac ride and short walk up 150 steps to Darwin's Lake. the walk wasn't too difficult but it had very little pay off once we reached the top. Foliage blocked the lake view so it was hard to get a clear look much less a good photo. Darn you nature! ;-)
All in all it was really good to get a small amount of exercise. Once back into the Zodiak we saw beautiful blonde Sea Lions, more penguins, cormorants, brilliantly colored Sally Crabs feeding on iguana poo on the lava rock near the shore. Diego Paredes (Diego En Fuego...as you might recall) was our naturalist. We congratulated him on having his photo published in the Wall St. Journal. A fact that he was apparently unaware of until we mentioned it. He was duly humble.
Generally speaking on Expedition ships there is briefing of the following day's activities in the evening before dinner. Monica Plaza, our Cruise Director, announced the crossing of the equator and informed all of us of the ritual hazing that takes place during the crossing in a boat or ship. It was basically a limbo dance under a streamer. I wasn't sure that Michael was going to do it and because of his hesitation, Mollye and I took the first limbo.
Our new friends, Robin and Adam, Glen and Mollye followed suit and I went back and crossed again with Michael. It was a lot of fun. We enjoyed each evening with these delightful people in the dining room as we talked about the day's event and all the wonderful experiences we had. Robin took some amazing photos which she was able to download to her ipad and show everyone in the evening. Not only is she a wonderful photographer but it was terrific to relive the experience in a more relaxed setting.
After dinner we went back to the Expedition Lounge where we were given a personalized certificate commemorating our Equator crossing which was a nice souvenir of the experience and a delightful way to end the evening.
Michael and I travel mostly because we like learning and experiencing new things, seeing new places and learning about different cultures and food that only comes from getting out and about in the world.
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