White-knuckled and bone-jarring is how the Ecuadorians like their open ocean taxi rides. These water taxis are former 20-25′ day cruisers outfitted with huge engines to plane over the 10′ surf between the islands. Out of three rides two included a passenger vomiting (one was Sarah). Personally I find them exhilarating like an amusement park ride where you kind of fear for your life but know you probably won’t die.
We met a San Francisco dweller here on a surprise trip awarded to him at the last minute. He had only 5 days (including travel) in the country. So we convinced him that he had to do a full day snorkeling trip with us – much better than just wandering around one of these “cities.”
I can only imagine that the scuba divers on the tour with us had an even closer view, but I was able to get almost touching distance to some sea turtles and a seal. Passing over a shiver of sharks when beneath you is only the blackness of an ocean is certainly thrilling. Well trained from years of video games, I couldn’t help but scan around behind me from time to time waiting for the inevitable sneak attack. I haven’t been wet and sticky with salt for a whole day I quite a long time.
On the way to ye ol’ swimming hole – which in Ecuador is a volcanic fissure filled with sea water – we passed some truly alien landscapes.
A long time ago some very small fish found their way into the fissure. They are now large fish. We snorkeled around in here for a while before leaving for the next island.