February 24, 2023
Here’s a picture of 2 Normans. The “other Norman” is one of our favorite sommeliers on board.
This is a new port for us. The entrance to the port is the widest estuary in the world. The city has been referred to as “the Monaco of the South”, “the Pearl of the Atlantic”, “the Hamptons of South America”, “the Miami Beach of South America” and “the St. Tropez of South America”. And, yes, it is that pretty and has lots of beautiful hotels, beaches and open air restaurants. We heard that there are many Americans living here. The city has a year round population of about 12,400 but during the summer season the number of visitors and residents average 450,000!
Our tour today was a boat trip to Sea Wolves Island where there is a colony of sea lions and fur seals. The scientists confirm that there are over 200,000 animals here, the second largest colony in the world. First is in Namibia.
This is a port that we needed to be taken to by tender, then we boarded a bus for the short trip to the boat that would take us to the island. Our guide was Marcello and he gave the same information both on the top deck and downstairs on the bottom deck. I happened to sit in the area with the very young and opinionated captain who thought he knew everything about the war in Ukraine, US and world politics, etc and he was very polarizing. Some passengers tried to give some other opinions but he would have none of it. His comment was “it is my boat, I can say anything I want, get out of here if you don’t like it”. I guess he never heard of customer service.
Otherwise it was a pretty calm trip and we sailed around the island for about 45 minutes. It was hard to get photos because we couldn’t get close enough, but I did get a few. There were hundreds of young seals playing in the water – they were fun to watch.
There is a lighthouse on the island, one of the brightest in the world according to Marcello.
The island is called Sea Wolves Island because early explorers hears the sounds of the sea lions and thought they weere wolves, so they didn’t go onto the island. Now the sea lions are referrred to as “sea wolves”.
After the boat trip, we wanted to visit La Mano, which is a sculpture of fingers emerging from the ground near the beach. It was originally part of an open air sculpture exhibition in 1982. At that time it was meant as a warning that the beach was rocky and could be dangerous. Now it is a big tourist attraction!
We got back after 2 so we had lunch in Waves Grill. They make a delicious veggie burger. Tonight will be an Indian Buffet in the Terrace Cafe and it will be nice enough to finally sit outside.
Thank you Pat, as usual.