Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Jan 9, 2007- Isla Salango & Fishing for Turtles

Today we decided to go on a trip with the tour company operated by Mary's (the woman we met a few days earlier) brother, "Winston Churchill" (I have no idea why he goes by that name). The trip was going to an island, Isla Salango, for snorkelling, beach, and fishing. We met up at around 9:30 am and chatted with some of the others who were going to be on the boat: a German guy; a French guy and an American girl; Derek, a guy from Grand Prairie, Alberta (Nicki, I asked him if he knew you/your family but he didn't) who was travelling with a girl from Colorado; and Santiago and Cintia, a couple from Argentina. Everyone was really nice, and we all ended up going out for supper together that night (minus the French/American couple, who kept to themselves). We especially hit it off with the Santiago & Cintia and Derek, and the 5 of us stayed out late having drinks after supper.

A vulture on the beach in the morning.

Pelicans on a boat. Dave is obsessed with pelicans.

Blue-footed boobies and their guano on the side of a cliff that we passed on the boat.

Scenery from the boat.

More scenery.

We anchored the boat and went fishing. We used fishing line wrapped around a wooden handle with a hook attached to the end, and for bait we used pieces of fish. Shauna, one of the girls on the boat, caught this blowfish! Of course, we threw him back. I also caught a big blowfish, but I didn't pull him up - I just let him float below the surface, and then he got away.

Dave's catch- the first catch of the day! A few minutes before this, Dave actually caught a large turtle! He thought it was a really big fish, but as he pulled the line in, he realized that his hook was in a poor little turtle's mouth! He was freaking out, not only because he loves sea turtles, but also because they are endangered. Also, Winston Churchill seemed to find the situation more amusing than a cause for concern. I was extremely traumatized and couldn't even look at the poor turtle, which also meant that I didn't get a photo of the whole fiasco, much to Dave's dismay. In the end, the hook came loose and the turtle escaped unharmed. Thank god! All day, Dave kept saying, "I can't believe I caught a turtle!"

We were supposed to be catching fish to make ceviche (a seafood salad that is very common in Latin America. It's made with raw fish marinated in so much lime or lemon juice that the fish becomes pickled and tastes cooked, onions, tomatoes, and maybe some chili peppers). Only three people caught fish, however, so they used fish that they had brought with them as a back up plan to make the ceviche. The fish that we ("we" meaning Dave, Winston Churchill, and Cintia) caught weren't meaty enough, so we got to throw them back. I did the throwing back, and was very happy to do so. I was quite distured at the idea of cutting up the poor fishies we had caught, so I jumped at the chance to release them. Oh, and I also ate half a bowl of ceviche! It actually tasted pretty good!

Of course, Henry and EO joined us on the boat.

The beach on Isla Salanga.

Dave, the swimsuit model.

Me playing in the waves. They were really strong and really sandy. It took me three days to get all the sand off my scalp and, yes, I did use shampoo!

In the foreground, just to the right of the centre of the photo, there's a rock that looks like a turtle. Just like the endangered turtle that Dave tortured, in fact.

This rock is known as "King Kong" rock, for obvious reasons.

Side view of King Kong rock.

Us on the boat on the way back.

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