Ah, Santiago. Yet another "best" paddle. This one was truly spectacular. We started out in shark-ridden waters. While we waited to board our kayak, we laughed at our friends sitting out in the smooth water on their kayak with a shark fin coming up behind them. Presumably a shark was indeed attached to the fin. Unfortunately we were laughing too hard to get the camera out in time, but the image is etched into our minds forever.

What made kayaking Santiago nice for us is the open ocean on one side and painted cliffs on the other. Animal life blends into the environment, even on the rocks jutting out of the water, creating mazes to explore.

Two paddlers along the rocks Monk rock with tiny paddlers on the right

Once we were all in our kayaks and paddling side by side, the "fin" returned to cruise along with us for a few minutes evoking more laughter again than fear. Dismayed at his lack of fear-provoking presence, he sulked off back towards shore.

whole group kayaking Blue Footed Boobies on rocks

Leaving the bay, we went out to an area that had some rock formation jutting out of the water about 20 feet high. Blue Footed Boobies danced no the top of the rocks and turned to watch us paddle around. A newborn baby fur seal was a bit further along the shore on a rocky cliff. His tiny 'mews' gave him away so we paddled close to the rocks to peek at him. He wiggled down the rocks to a flat surface just above eye level and sang us his little song, then collapsed to take a nap, shutting his enormous eyes.

fur seals and sally lightfoots

Leaving this next cove, the shore became large cliffs of orange, red, and green. Various birds roosted on the cliffs in crevices, including Masked and Nazca Boobies.

orange rocks green grass on cliffs

The cliffs continued to reach for the sky and rocks decorated the aquatic bases. The end of the paddle was in a rock formation that looked like a praying monk (photo at the very top on the right). It is hard to put into words how beautiful this place truly is, so we hope that the photos can do justice. Another 5 star paddle.

nearing the end of the paddle