A S S O C I A T I O N   OF   U N D E R W A T E R   E X P L O R E R S  

(l) heading out to sea off Machala, Ecuador; (r) cruising in style

(l) waiting for the nets to be pulled in; (r) camarones!

(l) our panga at Playas, Ecuador; (r) waiting out an engine problem.

(l) discovery of a very cool bar in Cartagena, Colombia; (r) looking back toward the door.

(l) lots of brass!; (r) wall of vessel manufacturing plaques.

(l) more brass -- cool artifacts were everywhere.  and yes, that's a stuffed shark; (r) the actual bar (note the teredo worm damage).  It was made from the wood of a barque built in 1918.  It came to Colombia in the 1980s and was bought by a "family" to serve as their personal yacht.  Restoration was done by half-wits and she eventually sunk at the dock.  After sitting on the bottom for a couple years, she was salvaged.

lower jaw bone of a whale with a very large scrimshaw artwork on it.

(l) the end of the bar with figureheads and bell; (r) the bar owner, right out of a 1940s Hollywood movie.  He used to own a ship-breaking yard, where much of the brass originated.  An avid diver and salvor, he also speaks 11 languages.  The bar is more of his personal office and hangout than business.  A very cool place indeed.

(l) even the head was cool; (r) ship's hatch to the head, with waterproof switch and lit porthole to the right.

(l) the more elegant bar at the Hotel Oro Verde in Guayaquil, Ecuador; (r) Castillo de San Felipe, the largest in the Americas.

(l) our hotel within the walled city of Cartagena; (r) cool church constructed of ancient coral reef.  In fact, much of the city of Cartagena is constructed from coral, including the fortresses and the wall around the city.

Checking out a three-toed sloth with her baby.