Sunday, September 22, 2013

Seca Islands - Second group in Panama

From the Parida Islands, we headed out to the Seca Islands.   On Isla Cavada we had a large anchorage, which was very calm.  One other boat was there, but they left the next day.  The snorkeling was beautiful; the water was so clear and shallow throughout the entire bay!  

Courage found a lure while snorkeling.  We were trolling with it from our dinghy and caught a Garr fish.  We now call it a 'Teggy fish', after Integrity.  We played with it for a little bit, and then let it go.  We got all of the children doing some swimming/snorkeling.  It was so great here.

       Then while I was making dinner, I was throwing some peels overboard and saw a bright green lizard in our orange kayak.  How did that happen?  We were anchored quite a ways out.  Turns out he swam.  Vitality scared him a little bit and he swam off, but stayed close to the boat.  We tried to throw him a rope so he could come up, but he didn’t take it.  Eventually he headed to shore.  Cassidy took the kayak out after him and caught him with the net.  We kept him in a box and gave him scraps for the night since he was likely cold, then next morning we took him to shore and released him (after photos, him getting away, kids catching him again, more photos, then we let him go).  .  .  . It was a fun experience, impressive swimming.

      As we were returning to the boat in our kayak from a snorkel, I looked up and saw a breaching whale.  We piled into the dinghy and were off!!  We saw another breach or two; it was amazing!  Then the finale!!  We were maybe 100 feet from them when the baby breached, then the momma did a full body breach!!!  Right in front of us!  We were closer than we had planned on being, but WOW, what an amazing sight!  So great, and we had all the kids with us.  Unfortunately my water camera had a 'chip read error'.  Classic!!  So it’s etched in our minds forever, but no footage.

          Next day we went out to see nearby whales and there was a large pod.  They were trying to get out of this bay, which was surrounded by reefs and islands.  They did a circle around us; we just drifted with our motor off.  They swam directly in front of our bow, and then one or two surfaced.  No breaching, but it was a great view.  This we got on video, but it’s on Courage’s video camera and my program can watch it, but not incorporate it into a movie collection for me.  Oh technology and compatibility.

           The island also had a fun beach, which was a peninsula.  At high tide it was just water across, but at low tide we could land on a kayak and walk across to a nice beach on the other side of the island with rocks to climb, huge tide pools, a bright green bay and a large rock wall that was weeping water.  The guys had a great time pretending that it was a shower and playing in the water.   We climbed the rocks, explored the tide pools and had our snack here before the tide was coming in and we had to go or we couldn’t get out without swimming.

          We checked out another island that had no name on charts or maps.  There were a couple of fishing boats that came by to anchor for the day and rest, and then they probably go fishing during the night.  We did some nice swimming here; there was a rocky outcropping with some coral and tons of colorful fish!  We brought the paddleboard out and the entire family went snorkeling.  Courage found an octopus that some of us could see.  Everyone had a nice time.  The kids could come and go from the board at their will and rest whenever they wanted to.  On a nice swim back to the boat from snorkeling there was a large fishing net underwater.  There were buoys hanging up a rope so it looked like a very strange kelp growth or something.