The fish tank off Chinese Hat

26-JAN-11: Sombrero Chino

The Flamingo chugged along during lunch and siesta until we reached an island called Sombrero Chino mid-afternoon. It really did look like a broad-based conical Chinese Hat. Not sure why I didn’t take a picture of it.

2011-01-26 katieOur underwater shots the prior times snorkeling had been green and dull. I thought maybe turning the flash on would be a good idea to brighten things up, and Katie figured out how to set it to “always on.” This wasn’t a brilliant idea, as you can see from the photo I took of her, below (the flash bounces light off of all the crap in the water).

Still, photography was easier at Chinese Hat: Malina said the water conditions were so clear that it would almost be like swimming in a fish tank. She was right. It was brilliant.

2011-01-26 iguanaThe first bit of excitement was a marine iguana feeding on algae in a tiny little inlet. With Katie and a fellow passenger, Jeff, in the inlet, I didn’t have much room to maneuver. I was so close to the iguana, the small waves were enough to move the iguana’s head in and out of the shot. I couldn’t zoom out any further, and I couldn’t move any further back with the other two people there. I ended up without any decent shots in the minute before the iguana went back on land. The shot below was the best I could manage.

2011-01-26 rayThe next bit of excitement turned out to be a feeding frenzy caused by lobster heads dropped off a fishing boat. In addition to huge clumps of fish, we saw a huge ray. But the water was deep enough, I couldn’t swim down to get a shot of the ray from the front.

Having the flash on all the time drained the battery fast, so we missed some penguins at the end of the swim. But it was a great day snorkeling.


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