Day 3 - October 7, 2013 - Isabela & Fernandina Islands
By Israel Mata, Galapagos National Park Guide
Weather: Sunny with scattered clouds
Air Temperature: 21ºC
How about starting your day in a perfect way? Just imagine the sun rising up from the horizon and the most impressive view of Ecuador Volcano on Isabela Island. In all honesty, this daily dose of inner peace is a blessing.
The Silver Galapagos anchored at Vicente Roca Point. This is one of the top locations around the Galapagos to conduct a Zodiac cruise, which is my first activity in the morning. The Crew launched our Zodiacs for the expedition along the coastline consisting of cliffs and huge walls of basaltic lava ranging over 250 meters high. Along that scenery are sea birds, sea lions, marines iguanas which take advantage of this protected area to rest.
During our expedition I pointed out an alpha male Fur Sea Lion defending his territory. This big male was able to keep his colony because his rival was too inexperienced, so the young male had to turn around and walk away. This was just the beginning!
Then, our Zodiac driver took us to a little bay where sea turtles were waiting for us. Just for fun we took our shoes off and put our feet into the water to have an idea of the temperature of the water. I was listening to all the opinions about the temperature when I heard one of guests saying “Hey… That turtle touched my toe!” I realized there was a small green sea turtle that came up to the surface to breath. According to the Galapagos National Park rules, we are not allowed to touch the animals, but the animals don’t know the rules!
We continued with the expedition along the rocky shore. We closely observed a Wandering Tattler telling gossips to a Galapagos Penguin, and many Blue Footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies, Pelicans and curious Flightless Cormorants posing for us.
We came back to the Silver Galapagos in order to be ready for the next activity in the morning which was snorkelling. With wetsuit on and the snorkeling gear, we went to this beautiful bay and jumped off the zodiacs to discover a new world underwater. I had a great time swimming with literally dozens of sea turtles and a playful baby sea lion.
In the afternoon, the adventure began with a dry landing. I better watch my step! As I walked over the lava, I realized that hundreds of marine iguanas were basking in the sun and this reptile has the same color of the lava.
We were very lucky! An immature Galapagos Hawk showed up and let us to take good pictures, while an American Oystercatcher let out warning calls, telling anyone around that a Hawk was too close.
Awesome, amazing, unbelievable… There are no words to describe how I felt today.
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