Monday, March 31, 2008

The Arrival and Mini Tour

We have been waiting weeks, nay, years, for our best friends Damon and Summer to come down here from Wisconsin and visit us. It finally happened last Wednesday night. Their flight was delayed in Minnepolis for "maintenance issues". I have been hearing that a lot from people lately. It was well after dark before their ferry arrived from Cancun. I got some pictures of the docks and boats while we were waiting.
Arrival dock with the car ferry in the distance.

The line for the ferry back to Cancun was horrendous. The people at the end of the line were waiting for as many as 5 ferries before they could get loaded. That's about 2.5 hours standing in line. Incredible.

When their turn comes to load, there is just this mad, chaotic dash for the loading zone.

Finally this ferry pulled in and our friends were on it. It was only the third one to arrive after we got there so we only had to wait 1.5 hours for them.

Friday we took them on a driving tour of the island. Damon has been here before, but always as a beach bum tourist. This was Summer's first time and she told me over and over and over that she wanted to see the turtle farm. I warned her that it isn't much to see anymore but we stopped anyway.

I was really impressed by the friendliness of the staff waiting to sell us our tickets. Really. Enlarge this and look how friendly she looks.

Really all she wanted to do was take our 20 pesos each and put one of these stupid wrist bands on us.

The first area you come to, right by the ticket booth, is this pen with land turtles in it. I guess since it is a turtle farm, all species are welcome.

I wanted Summer to pick one up and hold it for a picture. Since she didn't seem to know which end was which, I told her to forget it.

They reminded me of the painted turtles we have back in Minnesota. Who knows, maybe they are.

Next we strolled over to the big fenced in beach area. This sign hangs there and explains to you the purpose of the fencing.

The sea turtles are contained in round, cement tanks. Each tank has a different age group. The really tiny ones are indoors in the aquarium area. They are really quite beautiful. Especially when the sun shines on them.

The pens are very clean but as we stood there, we did get to see one pop out a poop. Nice clean water and then suddenly this thing popped up. We had a good laugh and a few Ewwws.

As you walk along the beach there is this long dock with fencing in the water around it. This is where they keep full grown turtles waiting to be released into the wild and/or turtles that need rehabilitation. Maybe they have lost a flipper or their shell has been damaged. There were none there when we visited.

Moving on into the aquarium, we saw these Loggernaut Turtles. At least that's what the sign said.

In the same tank was this horseshoe crab. It had cornered an eel and was busy devouring it. I don't think this was supposed to be happening. We looked around to tell a staff member but there were none present. I took a picture and moved on. Watching the eel squirm and try to get away was a bit disturbing.

One tank contained a single lobster. Poor thing. At least he wasn't in some restaurant tank, waited to be fished out and thrown screaming into a pot of boiling water.

There were two beautiful Lion fish. Even though I had my new camera set on "aquarium", I don't like how the pictures turned out. Gonna have to work on that.

We finished touring the island, visiting all the usual spots, the overlook by Garrofon Park and South Point. From there it is only 1.5 miles back to my house. We stopped and had a few snacks and beverages and then I dropped them back at their hotel. (the Carmelina of course!) All in all, a nice little trip around the island. Made even more special because of the two people we were showing it too.


Anonymous said...

residents of the island get in free to turtle farm. at least that's how it has worked for me...

Steve Cotton said...

I wonder what the "aquarium" macro is supposed to do? Stagger the exposure to avoid any glare from the flash?

It looks as if you all had a great time.

wayne said...

Steve, the user guide says this about using the aquarium setting:

Selects the optimal ISO speed, white balance and color balance to capture fish and other items in an indoor aquarium.

I sure didn't expect the glare I got.

M: I know I could have gotten in for free, but I figure 20 pesos isn't that much and it goes to a good cause. (I hope!) Plus I got to wear one of those funky wrist bands!