The excitement was building as soon as we booked the excursion. Little did we know how it would turn into a huge disappointment for our family.
Looking at photos of the Marietas, I couldn’t help but eagerly sign us up to head out on a sailboat for whale watching, snorkeling and checking out the beaches. These islands are home to the blue-footed boobies which I thought were only on the Galapagos! We didn’t tell the kids until the night before. They weren’t nearly as excited as we thought they would be.
Unfortunately, I was overcome with a bout of food-poisoning from some pork I ate at supper. This made for a bad start in the morning. Apparently, my step-son had the same problem as we had to get the cab driver to pull over on our way to the marina for him to empty his stomach contents. Wish it was just too much tequila.
We boarded the boat. Mike and I were starting to feel better. Any sickness was forgotten as soon as we saw the first few humpbacks and a sea turtle. Then Mike’s sister wasn’t responding well to the rough seas. The waves were average but our mid-sized sailboat definitely made them seem bigger than they actually were. Can’t complain about the staff of the Eco-Sail tour; they were fantastic. Gus was entertaining and informative. The food was satisfactory for the day trip….continental breakfast and sandwiches made to order along with open bar. Gus made room for my step-daughter to lay down after she got sick.
One important thing we were not informed of when booking: there was no docking a boat on the islands. We would be taken as close as possible but then would be getting into water that could be as deep as 5′. My daughter wasn’t feeling up to swimming that day and did not wear a swimsuit. She thought she could just hangout on the beach without going in the water. Therefore, I stayed on the sailboat with her while the others explored the beach. I captured the best I could get from the bobbing boat while feeling nauseous.
My step-son was the only one to go snorkeling and thoroughly enjoyed it. He even got to hold a sea cucumber. Thankfully the Eco-Sail photographer got photos of my family on the beach. It was disappointing for me but I was still able to capture some photos of the islands from the sailboat.
One of the other guests and his daughter had reservations to check out the hidden beach. The hidden beach is the inside of a collapsed stone “roof”. It is said to have been created by the combination of volcanic activity and military testing in the early 1900s. Visitation of the hidden beach is regulated and you must reserve your spot with one of the limited companies able to offer this experience. Since this father/daughter couple were visiting the beach, we got a good look of the entrance from the boat.
Even though 4 out of 6 of us got sick on this adventure, it definitely had the potential to be a wonderful experience. If I venture out there again, I will be sure to pack a dry bag for my camera to be able to take it onto the islands, and I will most definitely be taking an anti-nauseant before boarding a boat. Always prepare yourself and do your own research when embarking on any excursion while travelling.