From the National Geographic Sea Lion in Costa Rica and Panama
Dec 10, 2012 - National Geographic Sea Lion
Isla Iguana, Gulf of Panama
We awoke to a beautiful morning aboard National Geographic Sea Lion in the Gulf of Panama.
A bright red sun rose above the horizon and the fresh salty air blew across our skin. The temperature was pleasant and some of us rolled out our yoga mats on the sun deck for some gentle stretching exercises. Many had cameras in hand capturing the soft, early light.
After breakfast, highlighted by the delicious fruits grown in this tropical paradise, we gathered in the lounge for a kayak and snorkel briefing.
Do to the good fortune of a rising tide we were able to visit Isla Iguana. This wildlife refuge is a nesting spot for the magnificent frigatebirds and as our Zodiacs approached the island, we saw hundreds of these birds soaring overhead. Landing on the spectacular white sandy beach we saw hermit crabs scurrying about. Thirteen of the twenty eastern Pacific coral species are found in the waters here and many of us put on our snorkel gear and dove into the warm sea. Pufferfish, angelfish and a sea turtle were observed.
Our naturalists led guided walks into the forest and we learned the names of many of the beautiful trees and plants. Rounding out our activities, red and yellow kayaks were waiting on the beach and many enjoyed the quiet solitude of exploring the area on the water.
Back on the ship we attended a photo presentation. We became more familiar with our cameras and learned the art of shooting pictures in the rainforest with low light. Rounding Punta Mala was our final challenge for the day and we experienced some “ocean motion” as we safely sailed north towards Coiba Island!