Wednesday, January 22
Today our tour excursion was a “Scenic Boat Ride to Palomino Islands”. This turned out to be an incredible wildlife/birding adventure. For a half-day excursion, we would be hard pressed to see more birds than were in this area. The number of Peruvian boobies that were on the cliff faces were far too numerous to count. But it wasn’t just Peruvian boobies, we also saw a number of blue footed boobies. Some of the birds we saw were brown pelicans, Peruvian and Inca terns, red-legged and Guanay cormorants, and last, but not least, Humboldt penguins. It was our first but hopefully not our last penguin encounter on this trip. There is one lasting impression of the birds, and that is the sheer amount of guano they deposit. We also saw large red spider crabs crawling around the hills. We were told that the fishermen are not interested in the crabs since they have no meat to eat. We continued on to a colony of sea lions, again too numerous to count, and the smell was pretty impressive also. At this point you were allowed to enter the water and let the sea lions investigate you. There was only one hardy soul from our boat that did this. Usually we would be excited for a chance like this but the water temperature was not to our liking – way too cold. While we were watching the sea lions we noticed quite a number of large sea nettle jellyfish floating by. They are beautiful but you don’t want to get stung by them.
While we were out on our tour we saw a number of boats that were being used to dive for scallops. They had an air pump on the boat and had an air tube running to the person on the bottom collecting scallops one by one. Not my idea of diving, but it works for them.
We headed back to port after an eventful day. If we had the time we would definitely like to do this excursion again.
We went and played general trivia and got 16.5 with the winners scoring 19. Not a bad showing for us.
For dinner we both had the scallop ceviche and prime rib. For dessert, Alan had the black forest cake and I had the orange souffle.