Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Penguins! (and a rough night)

Internet service is becoming very spotty, so be patient.

Yesterday afternoon we went to Floreana. We took a Zodiak ride to see the sharks in the lagoon. We didn´t see sharks, but we did see penguins! (two of them). There are only 10 to 12 on the whole island. We saw more sea turtles (mating), two eagle rays, and a mangrove lagoon. The walk to the look out was fine with nice views.

Back on board, I chatted with one passenger who retired as a professor from ASU (Bill Davy or Davie), where he worked in international relations and studies. He told me how the Israeli embassy worked with him to restore study abroad trips to Israel.

We had nice conversations at dinner with two other couples, but the food wasn´t so good. We were the last table served and our salmon was a little over cooked. We kept calling over waiters to find out where our meal was.

After dinner, the naturalists put on a show, so dad and I watched. After that, he went to bed, while I went on the top deck to see the stars. It started off clear and Orion was directly overhead, with the Plieades to the north. Nice views of the Milky Way (the Southern Cross isn´t visible until February, and the North Star won´t be visible until July). By the time the naturalist came up to tell us about the stars, it started to cloud over.

They turned on the lights of hte ship and we that attracted sea life. First the penguins arrived, then the sealions, and then we saw two Galapagos Sharks (they don´t eat people).

There are very large swells from the north now, and we had a very rough night (or at least I did). The swells rocked the boat severly from side to side. I had dreams about large waves threatening the ship was woken repeatedly.

This morning we took the Zodiak to Santa Cruz island, where we saw more mating sea turtles in route. The problems came when we tried to land. The swells made the beach very difficult to navigate. They came in fast and I quickly jumped out and made it to shore. Dad has a blister so he came off barefoot then dried his feet and put on shoes and socks. One Zodaik couldn´t make it in and returned to the ship.

We walked along the beach and saw more sea turtle nests, more marine iguanas, and some lava gulls who were courting. We saw the rusted remains of US wwII barges and one flamingo. The sea was too rough to snorkle so we got back on the zodiak (a production in itself - we all got pretty wet).

We had a good lunch and nice conversation with a couple who had been to Israel and the husband really liked the airforce museum. After lunch dad went to sleep and I saw the internet was back in service so quickly typed out this post.

We´re on our way to Bartolome Island where there are lots of penguins. No word yet on whether the sea will be calm enough for snorkling.


Steve said...

Ask your ASU professor friend if he knows Joel Garaboff, who is a Jewish Studies prof at HUC and ASU and now, whith his wife, members of our shul.

J.B. said...

Yes, he does. We just spoke about him last night.

Steve said... or post the guy's name and i'll give dash to the Garaboff's from him....Nice folks, the Garaboffs! :-)

Steve said...

Whoops missed the name (Bill Davy)...ignore my previous post...Have fun!

Steve said...

Joel says hi to Bill from Cali:

"Steve: Thanks for sending this on. I worked with Bill for many years. He headed up the office of INternational studies and was in place when we pushed to reinstitute the Israel-ASU study abroad programs and I worked with him on any nubmer of issues."