08:35.2N 79:01.2W The Channel Between Isla Chapera and Mogo Mogo

Tue 22 Mar 2016 15:34

08:35.2N 79:01.2W



Back in 2000 the wooden beach resort I mentioned, The Contadora Resort Hotel had just extended its rooms to 470 and hosted meetings for foreign statesmen because it was easy to provide a high level of security on such as small island. However even as the plaster dried the Americans had decided to pull out and the house of cards collapsed.

We took a slow ride to our next anchorage between Isla Chapera and Mogo Mogo to give time to make water and charge the computer and exhausted anchor windlass battery. It took it 8 minutes to retrieve the 50 metres of chain Rob had put out.

This time it took only 35 metres as our spot was shallower and the range is decreasing now we are moving away from spring tides.

We had lunch and went ashore for a snorkel. I saw my first live puffer fish, with massive eyes and covered with spines. There was a good variety of the sort we see in son in law Gary’s tank at home. Also pipefish, baby fish and clouds of what may have been krill. All the while tiny jellyfish were pricking us with miniscule stings. In a clear, cold patch of water a beautiful new bed of orange coral was growing near the shore and safe from harmful anchors.

I popped my face above the water and eyeballed a big black heron as it fished the shoreline a few feet away. Above the shoreline and just into the woods were masses of plastic bottles and other human waste. Someone had made a lovely swing from a bamboo cane with green ropes. It was quite wide enough for two. Rubber tyres were hung from trees. This is a paradise for children.

There were lizard tracks in the sand and crab holes surrounded by pea sized balls of sand like mini cannon balls.

Kyle and Shelley from Blowin Bubbles had invited us and a family from another ketch ashore for sundowners. Published authors Andrew and Janet Gunson and their two young lady companions had just returned from the Galapagos and on route nearly ran into a vertical wall of sleeping whales!

This is a truly relaxing place to explore and watch local fishermen catching, fish, lobster and oysters to eat and for their pearls. We were just offered some pearls and an enormous fish but we declined thinking it too big. They must have thought we were nuts. We thought we were nuts.

A Nocturnal Intruder.

I awoke in the dark hours knowing we were not alone on board, there was a sense, a presence sharing our space. I got up and checked through the cabins. Back in bed, out of the corner of my eye I saw a dark shape pass across the hatch and decided, erroneously, it was the shadow of the wind charger turning. Then something flew past me and I felt its draft.

“Rob, there’s a bird in here.” I put a light on and the ‘bird’ continued its flight trying to find a way out.

By the time we had scrambled into the saloon he was hanging upside down from the ceiling next to the port side big window. It wasn’t a bird it was a bat! Rob tried to open the window so he could fly out but the bat was frightened and flew into the fore-cabin. Its next stop was the loo floor.

“Pass me a pair of thick gloves babe.” Carefully Rob picked up the lovely creature whose outstretched wings reached about a foot, while I took the top grill out of the companionway so he could be released.

Another missed photo opportunity, sorry.