I'm back! Malpelo and Cocos Islands were incredible, and I definitely want to return there sometime in the future (perhaps on rebreather, next time). The trip set a personal record for longest boat ride: it took 42 hours to get to Malpelo (Colombia) from Puntarenas (Costa Rica), another 42 hours or so to get to Cocos from Malpelo, and 36 hours to get back to Puntarenas. Luckily, we had calm seas and excellent conditions at both Malpelo and Cocos. I expect Heidi to put her trip journal online before I do, so check there if you want to see stories and photos (and thanks, Heidi, for being a perfect dive-trip roommate!).
School of scalloped hammerheads (Sphyrna lewini) at Dirty Rock, Cocos Island
When I returned home last night, I discovered that I was only going to overlap geographically with Vienna Teng for 12 hours, and with Geoff Nuttall for 10 hours. So after a full 10 minutes at home, I hopped into my car and drove down to Stanford for a late dinner and to hang out for a few hours. VT met us there just before 1am, even though she had to leave for the airport at 7am. Her schedule is as bad as mine is.
It's sad that I am becoming used to these transient overlaps as a form of socializing, but a couple hours spent with good friends is better than none at all. I have six days before I leave for Indonesia, and the number of items on my to-do list is daunting. I am not looking forward to them.
Speaking of transient overlaps, I will have approximately 16 hours during a layover in Hong Kong next month, and it turns out that both of my parents will be there at the same time. So at least I'll get to see them for a few hours. :)