Galapagos (7) – Cruise (3) – Fernandina & Isabela Islands

Saturday 16/06

Vlog by Florence: see below.


By me:

Breakfast at 7pm.

Walk on Fernandina Island, in Punta Espinosa. The weather is nice today. We see the sun for the first time since the departure of the cruise.

We see hundreds of marine iguanas, some Galápagos sea lions (in and out of the water), turtles in the water, snakes and also Galapagos hawks. We also see crabs eating a dead iguana. Jules spots an octopus. The guide is very good in explaining the life of the animals. He spends a lot of time explaining us the way marine iguanas warm up their bodies in the sun before going to munch algae under water. We take much time observing the animals; it’s great. We see marine iguanas spitting salt (and also regurgitating sometimes).

We then go back to the boat to put our snorkeling gear.

We love the snorkeling “sessions”. We see the marine iguanas munching the algae underwater. It’s fascinating. It’s always great to be able to see something for the first time. I also like to observe them outside the water, on the rocks. The light is indeed very nice. We also see many turtles. Unfortunately there’s again condensation in my phone case and I can’t take pictures (except during the 5 first minutes). An extraordinary event happened as soon as we jumped into the water: the guide shouted “eruption, eruption”; the volcano on Fernandina was erupting and we could see the red lava flow descending the flank of the volcano.

We go back to the boat to have lunch. We are fascinated by the spectacle of the eruption. The red of the lava flow is impressive and we can see the splashes of the lava. The cloud that is forming is beautiful. Wow!

Later on, we see another big cloud when the lava hits the water!

We then chill a bit until 2:30pm, when we go snorkeling again. This time to a place (Punta Vicente Roca, on Isabella Island) where we have a good chance to see many turtles. Our (high) expectations are (far) exceeded! We not only see many turtles (including plenty of them sleeping on the sea bottom) – definitely more than 50 (Ludivine says that she stopped counting after 80 but saw many more after…). We see 5 sea lions, playing together and also with us. We also see a big Galapagos shark, penguins, cormorants and an octopus. It’s the best snorkeling ever. We loved it! The highlight was definitely the sea lions; we even stopped looking at the turtles to admire them; they are so playful.

We go back to the boat for a quick shower. 20′ later we leave again, this time with the panga boat to explore the shoreline (still in Punta Vicente Roca). We go and see a colony of Galapagos fur sea lions. We continue and we see blue-footed boobies, and the usual cormorants, Galápagos sea lions and turtles. We also see penguins, which are rarer; they are very small (it’s the third smallest species in the world).

We go back to the boat where we chill on the upper deck while trying to spot marine life. We take a beer. We see dolphins. What a day! Great way to celebrate our 11th month of travel!

We cross the equator line.

At 6:30pm we have the briefing with the programme of the next day. Our guide also describes in details the extermination programme that took place on Santiago Island (where we go tomorrow) to decimate the goats population (that was estimated to 100,000)

At 7pm there’s the dinner.

Most of the people take a pill since we are again sailing during the whole night. I don’t since I don’t want to feel sleepy (I’d like to sort out the 1,000 (yes, one thousand!) pictures that I took today, both with my camera during the activities inland or in the panga boat and with my phone underwater). The underwater pictures will go faster since at least 75% of them can be deleted rapidly.

Isabelle and the kids go to bed at 8am and I stay in the room inside, working on my laptop, until 11pm. I manage to delete half of the pictures already.

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