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Comet ISON Tour November 12, 2013

November 12, 2013 was my last day in Chile for the Comet Ison Tour. What a day it turned out to be.

We had to leave the comfortable Hotel Club de La Serena around six am after a rushed breakfast. But lunch was promised (and delivered!) after the wildlife tour.

We bused up the coast to the town of Punta Choros:

DSCN6248

Northern Chilean Coast outside of La Serena

Punta Chorros-002

Once we got there, it was time to assemble on the docks and get our life jackets:

Embarking

Then we headed out to Isla de Chanaral:

Headed out

Approaching Isla de Chanaral

The island itself is VERY rugged:

Entering island tunnel

Once we got to the Island we saw a variety of wildlife:

Cormorants in Chile

Cormorants

Pelicans

Pelicans

Pelican and Humbolt Penguin

Penguins, sometimes with pelicans

Sea Lion family

Sea Lions

Seaweed on the island gave evidence of a wide tidal range:

Seaweed and sea lion

We had a Spanish speaking naturalist on board and Anjali did most of our translating. After about an hour or so of oohs and aahs, we headed back to shore.

Once back we had the promised lunch and had some great conversation. I was at the same table with Anjali and she gathered feedback on the trip from the folks around the table. Then it was time to hop back on the bus and return to La Serena for a few hours before going to the airport.

It had been my intention to walk the beach when we got back. Instead I found it prudent to use the restroom first, so I joined a few of my tour friends in going back to the lounge of the Hotel Club de Serena. As we were walking through, we saw Bob Berman and Anjali at a table. Bob beckoned us over and asked us to join him. Couldn’t resist that.

Another wide ranging conversation followed, along with my last pisco sour and the cerviche I wanted to try. We also learned about plans for a 2016 Hawaii Eclipse cruise that my wife and I plan to save up for.

After a long comfortable talk with new friends, it was time to go to the airport and home. Other than goodbyes to new friends and noting that there is NOTHING of consequence past security at the La Serena airport, I am done with my play by play of my trip. In my next post, I have a few last wrap-up thoughts about the tour as a whole.

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