United States

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  • Day6

    South Plaza & Santa Fe Islands

    July 4, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    We started the day with a 1/2 mile exploration of the circuit trail around South Plaza. It was beautiful and other worldly!😍 Red succulants carpet the ground and prickly pear trees are everywhere. This is the home of the endemic (unique) Galapagos Land Iguana and we had the opportunity to watch one eating a prickly pear fruit. The cliffs around the island were beautiful and we saw a plethora of Swallow-tailed gulls, pelicans, and frigate birds soaring. We even saw some chicks. It was an incredible walk and a photographer's paradise!
    Addey hiked with her new friend Iago (from Mexico and her dance partner from last night).
    We came back to the ship and anyone so inclined had an opportunity to jump into the ocean from the boat. I got great pictures of my family jumping off and they loved it (though the water was only 69 degrees! 🥶).
    Afterward, there was a lecture on humans and the Galapagos. It was decent. Even Jace came to the lecture. Then we had an Andean lunch buffet.
    The boat switched islands after lunch which was quite rocky. Both Jace and I felt a little nauseated 🤢, so we took a Zofran and a nap! It helped (as did anchoring near our next stop - Santa Fe Island).
    We took a zodiac into the bay and saw sea turtles, a group of manta rays, and the ever present (but not less intriguing) sea lions. We took a short hike around the rocky trail and saw several endemic Santa Fe land iguanas. Aside from tons of sea lions at the beaches that flanked each end of the trail, and more mockingbirds and finches, there was little else to see.
    We came back to the boat for cocktail hour and dinner and then to bed. Happy 4th of July!!
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  • Day7


    July 5, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

    Woke up at 7am and after breakfast took a zodiac cruise along the volcanic shores of Santiago Island in an area known as Sombrero Chino. We saw a penguin which was great. Afterwards, Ken, Jace, Cooper and I went snorkeling while Addey went to the beach with her friend Claudia and her grandparents. The snorkeling was excellent. We saw a white tip reef shark (swam right beneath me!) and I saw a number of other fish I hadn't seen before - Galapagos puffer, Pacific boxfish, Calico Lizard fish, Flag Cabrilla and a Tiger Snake eel).
    Once on the boat, we sailed past Bainbridge Islet and, from the sky deck, were able to peek inside the crater at a brakish lake with a few spots of flamingos. After lunch we played cards in the lounge with our new friend, Laura. All the kids got to go out on zodiacs and learn how to drive them.
    At 3:30p we hiked around Sullivan Bay - a 3/4 mile hike on 120 year old lava flow. Very similar to walking on the Big Island of Hawaii. There were no animals aside from a few lava lizards but a beautiful and interesting hike on some uneven sharp lava rocks! Afterwards, we took the zodiacs close by and saw 6 penguins resting - very cool to see penguins on the equator!
    We had our pre-dinner drink and talk in the lounge at 7p. They projected live microscope images of microscopic life of the ocean - very neat. We also got to see a preview of the videographer's work for the week which looks incredible - can't wait to see the finished product! We had a BBQ dinner on the skydeck and then went back to the lounge to play euchre (found out that 8 of us knew how to play!) and then hung out until 11.
    Tomorrow is our last day - very sad.... 😔
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