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Mission: Islas Marietas

After four months of listening to tales of the Marietas and dropping not so subtle hints as to my desire to go, I was finally permitted to join a group aboard Verana 1 bound for the islands. I jumped, I squealed with delight and then I was handed a stack of towels, 9 snorkels and 2 cases of beer.

With trusty Captain Moi at the throttle and questionably trusty Activities Guy Alex at the bow we took to the seas. The 45 minute ride is nothing nice on the innards or the backsides but avian and marine life sightings distract from the jarring swells. We always explain to the guests that the Marietas might not be what they envision a secluded group of small uninhabited islands to be. No coconuts falling from swaying palms here. The terrain resembles something more akin to the surface of the moon or some other craggy planet.


Arriving at the first island Alex and I unloaded food and drink, picnic supplies and snorkeling gear on to a white sand beach that extends from the mouth of a cave. The guests, a group of 6 friends from Chicago, picnicked, snorkeled and sunbathed at their leisure. The water was chilly, but crystal clear and the surrounding reef was surprisingly vibrant and busy with sea creatures.

Beer and food supply exhausted, we set off in search of wildlife, the highlight of any Marietas excursion. I saw more boobies that afternoon than I had ever hoped to, the Blue Footed variety only found here and in the Galapagos Islands. Also hanging out around the islands we ran into a sea turtle and a seal, a sighting so rare we suspect it might have escaped from a near by sea life park! Still we were disappointed that we hadn't spotted any whales by the time we got back into Yelapa Cove. But just as we were nearing our destination at the Ranchito pier we found our selves in the middle of a pod of 10 to 20 black orcas. The perfect end to a hard day at work!!

Marietas Beach..........................(2489.jpg)


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