Galapagos – 7

It’s been a very easy today physically.  We again, had a rough night of sailing so that we were in position at Dragon Bay on Santa Cruz Island in the morning. Travelling around each of the islands is generally quite smooth. However, It can get rather rough when cruising between the islands.

Fortunately, our trip overnight was a shorter trip and we were in calm water by about 2.00 am, so we were able to get a few more hours sleep than the night before. Breakfast was at 6.45 am and at 7.30, we were off in Zodiacs to visit the the area around Dragon Mountain.

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This area is well known for its Land Iguanas. The evolution of these reptiles split from the Marine Iguanas so that this variety are more colourful and live on land. They dig burrows in the soft sandy soil and use them for protection and shelter from the weather. The big ones grow to about a half metre in length and their tail takes up about half of their total length. It is easy to see their presence as they drag their tail when moving and leave a line in the sand behind them.

Land Iguanas can live to about 35 years of age and they become more colourful as they grow older.They are not found in large colonies like the Marine Iguana; instead living a more solitary life. It took us quite a time after starting our walk to find the first Iguana of the day.

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On the island, we walked around a circular path with a view across the landscape from a small hill. The prickly pear cactus plant is prevalent, forming the only source of water in the dry season for various animals and birds such as the finches and mocking birds. It is a source of food for the Iguanas.

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We then sailed back to Baltra Island where the ship re-fueled and a few people went ashore to the nearby sandy beach for a swim.

During lunch, we sailed along the coast of Santa Cruz Island, past vertical basalt cliffs where the layers of lava flow were very evident. We stopped for a final snorkel at Point Carrion.

One comment

  1. Pamela Saunders · ·

    Wonderful adaptation to an apparently water less environment at times