We have spent the past few days trying to relax and enjoy the remarkable landscape of these volcanic islands. Kaija was in hot pursuit of the very cute blue footed boobie bird and now has photographic proof that they exist,
Kaija and the Elusive Blue Footed Boobie
and for the real thing!...
the marine aguanas are singularly exclusive to these islands and of course there are the huge tortoises...no longer LoneSome George, he died last year and was very old...150 or older...but they are still remarkable to get up close to. The diving can be spectacular...very much dependant on the prevailing weather conditions of the day...and when not optimum, it can be difficult to make out the large schools of hammerhead, the very large manta rays, seals and sealiions, large grouper and snapper, enough to make the hunter drool, but alas no my drooling sailor man...control yourself...these are marine parks....mmmm, I know...leave some for the next guy...I’m all for it!
these cute little guys can grow to 800lbs
Santa Cruz is a large Island with one major town being Puerto Ayora. It is the main harbour and is quite busy. It is unfortunately an open roadstead to the prevailing SE swell. It demands that you ue as stern anchor to keep your boat facing into the waves. The town is great...with newly laid brick roads, they town feels clean and new and the shops are well laid out and abundant. There is an excellent farmers fruit and vegetable market on Saturdays, otherwise there is fresh fish on the docks daily for all.
everybody gets fed at the fish market.
We traveled for the weekend to visit with Jim and Carol in Isabella and spent a day on the water seeing the very dramatic volcanic coast line
West coast Isla Isabella, Galapagos
we sawflightless cormorants,
more blue footed boobies, sea lions, giant mantas and large sea turtles.
Unfortunately, because of the large sea swell we were unable to enter the bay and view the dance of the blue footed boobies...this is a mating ritual dance and is said to be very entertaining. We caught three beautiful yellow fin tuna and enjoyed fresh Ceviche for lunch.
Isabella has a smaller more protected anchorage but the island itself is not as developed as Santa Cruz. We enjoyed a hike to the Wall of Tears built by islands prisoners during the Second WW. We enjoyed seeing more Iguanas than we could count and the occasional tortoise out for a stroll. We traversed along fine flour like sand beaches as the ocean waves curled and crashed along the shore.
There are only 20000 residents in all of the Galapagos Islands....which is a radical increase from the 4000 of only 10 years ago...and of course the thousands of indigenous birds, mammals and sea creatures that call this isolated Island grouping home.
We are very excited about our upcoming BIG LEG...3000 miles to the Tuamotu.
We depart Galapagos at first light and will arrive in The Tuamotos in approx 20 days.
Till then, and till we check in again....thx for being there!