40. Ecuador Adventures and Frogs – Santa Cruz, Balta

Mangrove shadows in Ecuador.

Thursday, June 28th Mangrove Sunrise and Going Home


Today we got up at 5:30 am for a dawn pre breakfast boat ride to Black Turtle Cove, to see the sunrise, mangroves,

and maybe, some turtles.  


Mangroves can provide fresh water for themselves through a desalination process.

Turtles do the same, by expelling salt through their nostrils and retaining the less saline water. One female mates with five males for 2 hours plus each, and this feat has to be accomplished while swimming in the water. Normally, a turtle can stay underwater for 2 or 3 hours, but the energy required in reproduction requires them to breathe every 5 seconds.

In 4 or 5 weeks after mating, females go to the beach to lay their eggs. Compared to land tortoises, which live for as long as 200 years, water turtles live a more human lifespan of 80 years. If this activity was going on during our visit, we were unaware of it.  While others were pushing me out of the way to peer overboard,  I simply enjoyed the peacefulness of the visit.

Then it was back to the boat, back to the shore, back to the airport and connecting flights.  Good bye, Galapagos and Ecuador!

(Editor’s note; by the time this last blog is published, on June 5th, I will be preparing for my next ecotour with SAVE THE FROGS! to Costa Rica, and some relaxation time with my friend who lives near Tamarindo.  Look for more in the fall!)