It was our last full day in Ecuador and we had to finish it off with something unlike we have ever done before! Starting off the day with little food and energy, we jumped right on to a small fishing boat to take to Isla de la Plata, AKA “The Poor Man’s Galapagos.” Not knowing what to expect the day would hold for us, as usual, we took the 1.5 hour boat ride through choppy waves while fighting off stomach pains and dizziness. Getting closer to the island, the captain cut the motors and we were greeted with a huge pack of dolphins jumping alongside the boat. It was incredible being close enough to wild dolphins to reach out and touch one. Before even making it fully to the island, as we approached the shore, three turtles swam up to the boat side, as if it were a welcoming to the Isla de la Plata.
Riding on the boat, my anticipation to see boobies (blue footed of course) grew to an unexplainable level. Doing a project on them in elementary school, I’ve always wanted to be able to see them for real, up close, and even better, in the wild. The island was infested with them, and as it was mating seasoning, when there was one, there was another besides it. The island is also known to have 4-5 thousand frigate birds. The hiking path we took allowed us to walk through their mating area where the males would puff up their bright red necks to attract the females. Although the red throat looked like something that I wish it didn’t when it wasn’t puffed up, the birds were amazing to see.
Thinking we had done enough for the day, of course there was more, making everything even more exciting. Snorkling the coast line of Isla de la Plata was mesmerizing. We saw the wild life’s biodiversity on and off land. About 15 minutes into the 45 minutes session, I saw, well felt, flying fish the size of minnows, not sure what they are called. Bobbing my head out of the water to fix my mask, a school of these fish flew out of the water right in front of my face. To cap off the swimming part of the trip, I did a couple jumps into the water off the boat!