December 19, 2009

Conquering Kicker Rock

Last night B and I walked along the malecone (Spanish for boardwalk) and FINALLY saw some lobos (sea lions)!!!!!!!!!! I was totally freaked out the first few days by the lack of lobos, but they ALL came out last night!!!!! BABIES TOO!!!!!!! Thank goodness, as my trip would have been ruined if I didn't have my nightly chorus of Lobos singing me to sleep :-)

B and I checked by CIMEI this morning, but the door was still locked and my note was still on the door. We met up with our diving boat at 8:30am, and set out on an exciting diving day!! I don’t remember the captain’s name, but our dive masters were Angel 1 and Angel 2 – both from mainland Ecuador. We used the same dive company last San Cristobal trip, and they were equally awesome this time. News to me, the oil tanker Jessica wrecked right off the coast of San Cristobal, and is apparently a hot dive spot, especially at night. Unfortunately, I learned this with 2 days left on the island, so that’s a BIG definitely for next time!

Not even 5 minutes from the dock, we spotted DOLPHINS!!! The boat pulled over, and we jumped overboard (Adrien screaming, “DO THEY BITE????” diving from the boat). The water was a little choppy, so we didn’t see any in the water, but could hear the sonar dolphin calls from underwater!! I got some awesome video clips once back on the boat, with my Spanglish screaming in the background. There were about 3 dozen dolphins (adults and babies!) feeding right off shore. SO COOL!!!! Too bad they swim faster than me, else I would have been right there in the fish buffet with them :-)

Diving was AWESOME – but no dolphins :-/
We went to Leon Dormido (Spanish for “Sleeping Lion” – aka as Kicker Rock by the gringos), and a hot dive spot for all sorts of great wildlife: sharks, rays, turtles, whales (apparently Shamu isn’t so friendly in the wild). The last few days had DOZENS of hammerhead sightings, but of course, we didn’t see any :-( Did see some awesome fish, Galapagos sharks, sea turtles, lobsters, etc etc etc. My underwater camera case was still wet from the DR (can’t trust me with anything nice) and fogged up underwater :-( :-( :-(
But B had a nice camera with him, so I’m going to poach some shots off of him.

He is also wins the Best Buddy of the Year award – as I was sucking down air like it was no body’s business, and wound up with almost no air on the 2nd dive. I called the 1st dive, as I was at 50 BAR after about a half hour. We were very deep (about 70 feet max) so by the time we got to the surface, I was at about 8 BAR. The 2nd dive, I got to 50 BAR and started running REALLY low just before the 15 feet safety stop. B is buddy of the year for sharing his air with me AND actually having air left – 1000 PSI – he must have little girl lungs ;-) Also, many many thanks to Capt Saam and friends for whipping me into a half-way decent diver. Not panicking and remembering the buddy breathing stuff actually came in handy!!!! Now I need to learn how to use my computer, and not just read it (but definitely came in handy for the safety stops!)

Back on shore, the CIMEI was still closed, so I took a shower and a nap, then went to Renato’s house to find out what happened (I was pretty certain it wasn’t good). He was asleep, but I managed to deduce that the dog had died, either at 9pm or 9am, and he had to go tell the owners that afternoon (I thought it was a street dog :-(...) Pam felt very bad, but it was just one of those things that happen. Even in the states, with top notch technology, chest xrays, blood screens and the whole deal, it still happens.

1 comment:

  1. HI! I have also volunteered with the CIMEI on San Cristobal. I was hoping that you could help me out. I have forgotten the last name of the vet I was working with, Pamela, and wondered if you remember it. There was also a girl volunteering there named Anna. Do you know her last name? That way maybe I could contact her and ask her if you are not sure. I am trying to figure out Pamela's last name because I would like to put her on my vet school application. If there is anyway you could help me out I would really appreciate it! If just seems like you may have been around some of the same people! Let me know if you can help! Thanks