The levels of sleep overnight were definitely variable. The boat hummed to the sound of the engine in all cabins but having sampled both below and above deck we were pleased to be top side. The general mode of operation was to take a dingy and land on various islands for sight seeing, get back to the boat and move onto the next landing site and so on. The advantages of being on a small boat really came home to us when we watched two dingys doing shuttle runs for over forty people and the logistics of managing bags and passengers. When landing there was sometimes a jetty to make it a dignified affair but often it was a 'wet' landing, jumping out into the shallow water and wading to the beach. For the feeling of frontier expedition I much preferred the latter. This morning we first landed on Rábida island which had a lovely red beach and a total area of a little under 5 square kilometres. Our guide had advised that no footwear was required as we were landing on a beach but as we landed I noticed that he was wearing trainers, which came in handy when we walked to the end of the beach and the sand gave way to sharp volcanic rock! Making a mental note to not fall for that again we looked around to see an American Oyster catcher enjoying a morning meal of crabs and also the crabs wisely scurrying into holes at the first sign of movement. Further along the beach we caught our first sight of blue footed boobies, but sadly they weer nesting in the cliffs above our heads so we couldn't get a good look at the feet which gives them their name. While painfully hopping back across the rocks a baby sea lion which was soon joined by its mother. This cute pair posed for photos for some time but eventually we had all got all the shots we needed so we retreated up to our original landing point our first taste of snorkeling. There was little coral but plenty of fish to spot and a chance to try out the underwater camera. Soon we were back on the boat having lunch and looking the plan for the day (employers take note) we were pleased to see that the hectic schedule had booked us in for an early afternoon snooze while the boat motored around to the next landing spot.

Our next stop was James Island (or Santiago Island) with another wet landing. This island is the site of a forlorn building, the remains of an investor who borrow heavily to set up a salt mining company here only to realise too late that the island itself has no fresh water and that the elements were harder on the equipment than expected. After only two months him and his family including his six year old child were in jail for falling to pay debts - harsh times indeed! It was very hot when we landed so we opted to snorkel first . The water was lovely and warm and we all slowly meandered around looking at the abundant fishes, once out of the water the red crabs covering the rocky shore line at one end of the beach held our attention. All too soon it was time to walk inland to the other side of the island. On this rocky beach there were hundreds of Iguanas, those hiding in the shade against rocks were hard to see but some were sitting in the sun waiting for the photographers to pay them some attention it seemed. Walking along a rocky plateau we were hopping over rock pools and scaring crabs. The sun was still fierce but our guide told us that our timing was good, the last few days had seen rain so we felt we had the better end of the bargain.

After food and a beer eye lids started to droop Eleanor and I soon headed off to bed. On the way we saw David sat on the sun loungers on the upper deck admiring the night sky which despite the bright moon was still magnificent. Chatting to David a bit more revealed that he has a hot tub in his back garden, something which made Eleanor's eye shine with jealously. Mind you hearing that David had dropped a canoe on his foot just prior to coming on holiday turned the shine to water.