Saturday, May 18, 2013

Galapagos Islands, Day 2 & 3

Our guides told us before we went to bed that when we heard the wake-up call the next morning, we should run up to the sun deck to see nice views of Leon Dormido) aka Kicker Rock, and lots of seabirds. We were not disappointed. The sunrise was gorgeous and there were a ton of seabirds on and around the rock.

We continued sailing up the coast of San Cristobal to a gorgeous beach called Cerro Brujo. There we saw pelicans, oystercatchers, marine iguanas, sea lions, and many, many crabs.

The last stop of the day was at Punta Pitt. After landing we changed into hiking boots to scale a small hill, on top of which were several colonies of boobies and frigates. This was where we found the largest concentration of red-footed boobies during our trip.

That night we had a rather choppy passage from San Cristobal to EspaƱola, the oldest of the Galapagos Islands. When we arrived in the morning, we first landed at Punta Suarez, where we saw "Christmas iguanas" (with red and green colorings), waved albatrosses, lots more boobies, and of course, the omnipresent sea lions and crabs.

"Christmas" iguanas:

a pair of mating waved albatrosses:

a Nazca booby feeding its hatchling:

We had lunch back on board, and around this time D started to feel really seasick. Luckily, we were eating lunch with an older Canadian couple who happened to be retired pharmacists. They had brought scopolamine patches along (prescription-only the US, but over-the-counter in Canada) and generously offered one to D since he looked so sick.

A little after lunch, we had our first deep water snorkelling experience at Gardner Bay. There, we saw sea turtles, reef sharks, and lots of fish:

After rinsing off, the dinghies took us to a small beach off of Gardner Bay, where we hung out and played with sea lions:

When we got back on board for dinner, it became clear that the patch was working quite well for D, which was a relief. We were able to both enjoy our meal and get a good night's sleep.

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