Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Los Tuneles

Today was the first day of Fiesta de Isabela and things started off with a parade. It was a little lame due the lack of participation. The government officials, park rangers, IOI, and the kid's sports camps marched and the whole thing was over in less than 30 minutes. The marines did a marching routine with instruments which needed some practice, but wasn't that bad considering we had never heard them practicing before.
We left for Tuneles around 10 and it was starting to rain. We saw some manta rays in the water during the boat ride and one of them jumped into the air 3 times. We were all screaming because it was so amazing. We also saw a giant manta right next to the boat. We went on a small hike around Tuneles which was beautiful. The water was calm and there were bridges, arches, and tunnels that were right along the shore. It was different from what I was expecting, but it was still beautiful.

Photo by Ryan McMinds

We went to a different sight to snorkel and although the visibility wasn't great, we saw a lot of neat stuff. I wore my 5mm wetsuit and probably didn't need it, but I was the warmest person in the world and floated like a balloon. 
Seahorse A- "Stop it, don't look at me"

Seahorse B- "Why are you trying to take a picture of me?"

Seahorse B- "I'm trying to take a nap"

unidentified fish
On our way back to Puerto Villamil we once again saw manta rays swimming very close to the boat. They were about as large as the boat itself which had 6 students on it and 2 captains. This time we asked if we could jump in the water and the captain said yes. We all jumped in with our masks and started swimming like crazy towards the mantas. It took a while, but we got to where they were and we got to witness them swimming around us. I had two of them swim directly beneath me within touching distance. I was screaming out of excitement along with Megan, Marina, and Amy, and now my throat hurts. These were not your average sting rays. These rays were at least 15 feet across. That is a big sting ray. Seeing them that close is both breathtaking and life changing. We all agreed that we could die in that moment and our lives would be complete. It was one of the greatest moments in my life and I try to keep replaying the image in my head so I will never forget. Marina has a really good video of it and I will post a link to it whenever she puts it on the internet.
Photo by Ryan McMinds before we jumped in with them. The two parts that are sticking out of the water are the wing tips

1 comment:

  1. I had no idea that manta rays could jump out of the water-that is totally amazing!!!! I can't wait to see the video!