02.05.2011 - 03.05.2011
Day 4 - Floreana
Today we had 4 stops on the island of Floreana. The first was on Punta Cormorant beach were we walked to a flamingo lagoon and saw 4 flamingos up close. Next we walked to a wonderful white sand beach where we were suppose to see sting rays. I didn't see any, but a couple people did. Our next stop was to Devil's crown to snorkel. The fish were much better here and I took a lot of pictures. I even got some pictures of the sea lion swimming underneath me. Fish we saw include: dolphinfish, king angelfish, rainbow wrasse, bump head parrotfish, bicolor parrotfish, razor surgeonfish, galapagos seabream, giant damselfish, and black triggerfish. Stop three was to post office bay which was used by whalers, sealers and private yachts since 1793 to send mail.
Stop four was at black beach, where we got in a truck and drove up the mountain. I was thinking we were going to the "house" of Margaret Wittmer, which we did, but it was the cave she lived in when she first came to the island vs the house she lived in during her later years. Along the route we heard some noise and the guide took us off path to see some mating turtles (although the male was confused as he was humping the female's head). When the guide started back, he didn't wait for anyone and just charged forward through all sorts of rocks and brush. I kept up with him so as not to lose the path and would stop to make sure the rest of the group knew the way. Seemed weird that the guide wasn't doing this as the walk was advertised as easy and there were a couple that were having a difficult time walking. As we went up to the cave, the guide was again not helpful to those that needed some guidance on easier paths to take.
Dinner was a bar-b-q on the upper deck which was very good.
Day 5 - Fernandina & Isabela
Today's trip was to the islands of Fernandina and Isabela. The morning walk was 2 1/2 hours on lava to see the large flightless cormorants and potentially penguins. We choose to stay back because we were going to see the same things in the afternoon, but without the big hot walk with no shade. On our relaxing morning on the boat we saw plenty of sea turtles, some sea lions and plenty of birds. Before lunch we had a discussion / lesson on oceanography, which was interesting.
After lunch the boat headed over to Isabela to snorkel and then take a zodiac ride. The snorkeling was cold and I got a little nervous about going into the cave so I skipped it, but later found out that they saw stingrays as they were coming out so I was a little bummed I didn't go in the cave. When I first jumped into the water though, I did see penguins so that was cool! Troy and I headed over to a different part of the snorkeling area and saw sea turtles with fish eating the algae off of them which was also pretty cool. The panga ride covered the same area we snorkeled and this time we saw more sea lions and a fur seal. We also got to see the nesting site of the flightless cormorant and more penguins swimming. Back on the boat and before dinner we watched the sunset and toasted our first crossing of the equator (we have 4 crossings in total).