Galapagos – 5

It was overcast and cool when had breakfast but the cloud had burnt off by mid morning and it was much warmer.

We seem to have eggs in one form or another every morning along with cerial, toast and fresh fruit. This morning. It was fried eggs and bacon. Yesterday it was an omelet with small hot dogs in a nice tomato sauce.

We have a gentle day today – an excursion and then then a few hours of sailing until lunch time. In the afternoon we have an hour for snorkeling and finally a walk around a bay on a lava flow at Punta Moreno.

This morning, our zodiac ride took us into a mangrove forest in a little inlet about a kilometre from where the boat had anchored at Elizabeth Bay. There was quite a tidal flow as we went in through a small channel but then we just cruised and paddled in a very quiet area watching pelicans nesting in the trees and some fish.

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There were lots of stingrays in the water. I tried to photograph them with my waterproof camera over the side of the zodiac, but it was a bit ‘hit and miss’. All I could do was to point the camera in their general direction and hope that I had a good photo. These are some of my attempts.

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There were many turtles in the water as well, but by now they have become common place for us and we aren’t as excited about them as we were were few days ago.

We saw quite a number of Galapagos Penguins in the water. These are the most northerly penguins in the world. They look a little like a Magellanic Penguin and I think that they may be related. They are a little bigger than the Little Penguins (Fairy Penguins) we have along the Victorian coast. In the water, they look a little like ducks. Under the water, they appear to fly. They would dive and come to the surface with a small fish.

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After lunch we motored over to Punta Moreno where some of the group went snorkeling. Quite a few of us decided not to participate today as it was windy and the water was much cooler than the other places where we have been. Those that went reported that they had seen most of the things we had previously encountered on our snorkeling trips except for a sea horse and an octopus.

We finished the day with a walk across part of an old giant lava field. It was an enormous flat area of more than 50 square kilometers of lava that had flower from one of the volcanoes about one thousand years grow ago. Some grasses and sedge are just starting to grow in the cracks.

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There are two types on lava in the short area that we walked around. One was a smooth lava and the other (where the molten rock contained more silica) was more viscous  and was called ‘ropey lava’ There were distinct areas where the lava looked just as if it were treacle poured from a can. This area was terribly uneven with many cracks and fissures. As the lava cooled, or when gasses were released, cracks and fissures would form. Some of these were three meters deep and half a meter wide.

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In the middle of the lava field were a number of small ponds. At times these have been places where flamingos have lived. These birds originally came from a South America and they may have flown somewhere else because food is not plentiful just now.

On the way back to the boat, we stopped at some islands off the shore and had a quick look at some penguins, dozens of frigate birds and boobies. There must have been a shoal of fish in between us and the boat as dozens of frigate birds were driving into the water. They looked quite stinking against the golden sky at sunset.

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One comment

  1. Pamela Saunders · ·

    I love the sculptures created by the different lava flows. The photo of frigate birds look like origami creations.

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