Sunday, December 16, 2012

Gilligan's Island 12/13--A 3 Hour Tour

Shari Aboard The Minnow
About a mile off shore from the hotel's beach is a mangrove island, Cayo Aurora, nick-named "Gilligan's Island," supposedly for its resemblance. Round trip is $7 for the 10 minute ride out to the island which has no facilities other than rudimentary banos. We left at 2. The ferry runs every hour so we told the captain we'd come back on the 4 o'clock ferry. "No 4 o'clock ferry. 5 o'clock." So it was a 3 hour tour.

Cayo Aurora
Photo: Shari Zirlin

The waters around the island are crystalline in comparison to, we now realized, the rather murky waters washing up on our beach. They are excellent waters for snorkeling. Shari packed her new snorkeling equipment, and while I looked on, she showed me how to snorkle. (And what a great onomatopoetic word that is!)

There was a surprising mix of birds on this little island: Royal and Sandwich Terns roosting on the buoys, pelicans and vultures overhead, a Yellow Warbler in the mangrove trees and even a Green Heron skulking about. 
Ruddy Turnstones
Photo: Shari Zirlin

But it was these guys that cracked us up. Scampering all over the island was a flock of Ruddy Turnstones, acting more like pigeons than peeps. If they saw you had food they came right up to you, begging. They dashed for any crumbs on the ground, pursued by the rest of the flock. They also scratched in the leaf litter like sparrows. They did everything but poke in the sand looking for the small crustaceans, sand fleas and worms that form their diet everywhere else. When we went onto the dock to await the returning ferry, they followed us on to it in a last hope of cadging some food. I don't usually feed the wildlife, but I'd never seen a turnstone eat a peanut before. So we've got blackbirds eating Italian bread and turnstones eating salted peanuts. What a place!
Photo: Shari Zirlin

I guess this is a relatively young iguana, it being green and comparatively small. They at least were shy and avoided people by rushing into the safety of the mangrove trees. 

Promptly at 5 o'clock the ferry returned and that was that ended the last of our Puerto Rican adventures, except for the drive to the airport the next day. 
I couldn't resist putting this in. 

No comments:

Post a Comment