After a delightful, delightful morning of kayaking (not really, see my last kayaking recap), we explored a beautiful white sand beach. The water is that amazing turquoise color you see on advertisements for the Caribbean, and it is just beautiful. More beautiful than the Caribbean, I’d say, since there are amazing animals everywhere.
Like sea lions. Playing, lounging, eating, playing.
And this is me, hoping I never ever ever have to get into a sea kayak again.
Next, we went snorkeling in Gardner Bay. I really think that snorkeling in the Galapagos in underrated–it is the best snorkeling we’ve had and just beautiful. Gardner Bay was particularly fun, as there was a huge drop off right off the islet–about 30 feet. So you have rock on one side, and coral/fish underneath you, and then it just goes down and down and down. The water had a ton of air bubbles in it, so visibility with a camera wasn’t great, even though it looked pretty clear in person. Lots of the chocolate chip sea stars.
While we were not in season for the huge waved albatross (missed by just a few weeks), there were a ton of Nazca boobies on Espanola. They are pretty when adults, but the chicks are awkward and very fluffy. They also are demanding for food from their parents. There are usually 2 chicks that hatch, but one chick (the alpha) kills the other, often by pushing him/her off the rocks. Survival of the fittest indeed. Side note: wings are so weird when developing–look at those bones and vessels underneath.
And of course, the marine iguanas. You have to watch where you step, otherwise you step on them. They crawl over sea lions without batting an eye, and generally don’t move (unless chasing one another…rarely it seemed). Their colors vary island by island. Many of the marine iguanas on Espanola seemed to have a bit more green and less black than on other islands. With no real predators on land, these iguanas seem to have a pretty cushy life.
We also saw more types of finches, a Galapagos hawk I think, and swallow-tailed gulls.
Next stop, Floreana!