Got up at 6 AM. The open water crossing was rough last night and I tossed and turned. Finally fell asleep and was woken up by music at 6o’clock.
We went for a Panga ride first and then back to the boat for breakfast. The yacht had anchored off of Floreana Island.
After breakfast we went back into the Pangas for a wet landing on shore. We were let off at Post Office Bay. Why is this bay called Post Office Bay? In the 18th century whalers passing through the islands placed a wooden barrel on Floreana Island for use as an unofficial mail box. Before we left the yacht we were given postcards to address to someone. I addressed my post card to Olivia. You deposit your post card in the barrel and sort through the ones left behind. If you find one near where you live, you can then deliver it by hand when you return. I found one post card addressed to an address in Chappaqua, but it was only placed in the barrel last week so I left it behind. The tradition calls for you to hand deliver the post card you take just like the whalers used to do. If you mail it, you will be cursed. We continued back to the beach to explore. There is a little bird that lives here by the name of the “Yellow Warbler”. It is so hard to capture one in flight that Andy has offered a $500 discount on someones next workshop, if he or she can capture a Yellow Warbler in flight and in focus. No one has gotten an exact hit but Duane has been very close. We then boarded our Pangas for the ride back to the yacht.
After lunch is when the activity really picked up. We went snorkeling. Eight of us, including myself, got on our wet suits and boarded a Panga. We were taken to a small island named “Champion Islet” located just offshore of Floreana Island. We were told by Pablo that a wall existed near the shore and the current was very strong. We needed to flight the current to avoid any injury. As soon as we all jumped in, a group of sea lions also jumped in. They were all over us. They made their circular motions and were so close to me that I touched some of them. Also, a few went right up to my mask. The younger sea lions are very playful. As we swam down the islet, some of the sea lions started to even bite some of our cameras. There were also lots of beautiful schools of fish but the stars of the show were the sea lions. How amazing this site was and to be a part of this experience was unbelievable. This experience will live with me for many years as I remember the Galapagos.
We then headed back to the yacht for a quick shower and then it was off to a wet landing at “Cormorant Point”. We hiked down to a large lagoon where there were large flamingos walking on the shallow water eating what they could find. Also, there were small birds named Stilts that were eating what they could find. An beautiful scene. As the light changed, the reflection of the flamingos on the lagoon created some very interesting images. We then walked back to the beach. We saw some blue footed boobies sitting in their nests. The blue footed boogie is also only found in the Galapagos. We walked down the beach and found another blue footed boobie sitting on her nest. I so wanted her to stand up and expose her feet. I even offered her $50 to stand up, but nothing happened. Just as we were getting ready to walk back down the beach to our Pangas, she took me up on my offer and stood up. There were two large eggs in her nest and her feet were mostly exposed. I couldn’t be happier. To take a picture of these rare birds nesting like this is quite rare.
We then boarded our Pangas for the ride back to the yacht. Before dinner we were given our itinerary for the last full day. Wake up time is 5 AM and breakfast will be served at 5:30. Then its off for a four hour walk through the morning heat to take pictures of the grey albatross. This bird only comes here to nest and this is the time of year they are here.
After dinner we had our last critique and I will miss these sessions. Before dinner I went outside to the back of the yacht and saw a flying fish had flown onto the deck. The fish was still alive and I picked it up and threw it back into the water. I heard some splashing and looked down. Some literally dozens of sharks, both large and small, eating flying fish and anything else. What a scene. I tried to take some pictures, but it was too dark. What an adventure.