This is my third day in the Galapagos and it’s been another good one. It was fairly hot today. I think the weather was forecast to be around 22C but it felt much hotter. There was little cloud and the sun was strong.
Overnight, our boat repositioned to Santiago Island and I woke up at Puerto Egas on James Bay to see an island with low cliffs of layered volcanic ash. Above the cliffs was a derelict hut that had belonged to a settlement that was here until the 1960’s. There is a lagoon nearby with very salty water and from there salt was processed commercially. When the island became part of the National Park, the salt works were closed down. The landscape, like other places we have seen was flat and barren looking.
We went onto the beach by zodiac and visited a collection of rock pools where we could see dozens of crabs and a few sea lions frolicking in the water. These are very playful animals and seem to relate to people just as a dog would.
Charles Darwin had visited this island and walked around the shore line. We followed in his footsteps keeping a lookout for blue footed boobies, a blue crane and some pelicans. At the furthest end of our walk, we came across a black lava field There were obviously some tunnels in the lava during the time it flowed as there were many small steep sided inlets into which the sea crashed and these were covered by rock bridges.
We had to step over Marine Iguanas everywhere we went.
We were back on the boat at 10.00 am for a change into our swimming gear and a coffee (actually, it was hot strawberry milk). Then we returned to the beach for a snorkel. I’m not a strong swimmer and I’m grateful for Sarah (one of two English women travelling together) for taking me under her wing. She is a swimming instructor and she has increased my confidence in the water considerably.
It was wonderful to be floating in the water and seeing many colourful fish. At one time, I caught a glimpse out of the corner of my eye of what I thought was big black fish swimming very fast. It was actually a sea lion and it swam right through our group of snorkelers. We came across at least three sea turtles and I managed to get a nice photo of one with my little waterproof camera. I am using it as a ‘point and shoot’ camera as I’m having enough trouble with swimming, let alone to be able to deal with camera settings as well.
After lunch, we sailed around Buccaneers Cove, a protected bay, where the old pirates used too hang out between their plundering operations. I don’t think that anyone has ever found any buried treasure here, but that is the story of this place. We saw a number of sea stacks and on the other slide of the bay there were three large caves at the water level.
Our last activity for the day was a visit to Espomilla, just around the corner. We had planned a landing on the beach there but the tide was high and it was a little too dangerous. Instead, we zodiaced around the shoreline and saw a bunch of fur seals. These are a different species to the Sea Lions that we have seen so far. They are smaller and have more pointed noses.
Right now, we are back on the boat with quite a bit of free time until we reach our next stop early tomorrow morning. We have about eight hours of sailing unit we reach Fernandino Island on the western side of the archipelago. In some ways it’s very nice to have some down time. This trip is very busy and its hard to find time to do all that personal stuff that one needs to do like writing blog posts, catching up with emails or getting some washing done. These are hard to fit in between all the activities in our busy schedule.
Right now, this little boat (Daphne) is pitching rather wildly in the open sea. The boat is about 20 metres long and has three decks. There is some passenger accommodation on the bottom deck along with the engine room and crew quarters. The middle deck is where we have a lounge, galley and dining room. The top deck is where my cabin is, along with the bridge. There is a sun deck on the very top that provides great views but if the sun is in the wrong direction, it can be quite warm up there. It is the place that I use for sending emails as it has open access to the sky and my satellite phone works best up there.
The Blue Footed Boobies we saw today, actually had blue feet!