Sometime around 4am, through our Dramamine comas we heard the engines come to blissful stop. The waves had flattened too and we dropped back into a more comfortable sleep. We woke a few hours later to a bright, clear morning to find we had traveled south east to the tiny island of Santa Fe. Fortified by a magnificent breakfast of eggs, toast, fruit, cereal, yoghurt and thick black coffee we were ferried in the pangas (as they call the zodiac boats) to the beach. It was not large and it was pretty much claimed by a large group of sealions, lounging around in the sunshine and not the least bit bothered by us.
The sun was fierce now, even at eight thirty in the morning. We began a guided walk through a scorched landscape with prickly pear trees ten feet tall. Often there was a fat iguana underneath, claws like long fingers and a brilliant yellow crest like a cockatoo. They wait for the cactus fruit to fall out and we watched an iguana rolling a prickly pear around under its gnarled hand, scraping off the spines before snapping into it with its angular little mouth.
Back on the boat they equipped us with snorkel gear. Well most of us. “We don’t carry snorkel gear for kids” said Ricky wth an irritating smile. P and I told him in no uncertain terms that that wasn’t good enough. If you sell an expensive cruise to adults and kids alike promising that snorkel equipment is included, then you should include it, or at the very least make clear while we can still make other arrangements, that there isn’t any for kids. Telling us when we are on the way is no use at all. Ricky’s smile vanished and he looked somewhat chastened as he realised we weren’t to be brushed off. Stiff letter to cruise company is on the way… Anyway we found a mask that almost fit Tom (but no fins) and went off snorkling, but the sea was choppy and T’s mask didn’t really work and, frankly, it was all rather trying.
No more 1am starts though. In the evening after supper, we did our “navigation” to South Plaza on Santa Cruz, in calm waters. All was quiet when we went to bed and we slept like the dead.