Day 3 - October 21, 2013 - Punta Vicente Roca & Punta Espinoza
By Jorge Parrales, Naturalist
Weather: Sunny with scattered clouds
Air Temperature: 24ºC
Pressure: 912 hPa
Wind: 6 knots
Today, we woke up having one of the most spectacular views of the Galapagos Islands. Silver Galapagos was anchored at Punta Vicente Roca, northwest of Isabela Island. There were 7 big volcanoes surrounding the ship and the geology of the place was quite interesting. After having breakfast, we took a zodiac cruise along the coast of Isabela where we spotted Flightless cormorants, Galapagos sea lions, blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies and some forty pacific green sea turtles. Later on, we headed inside a cave where some creole fish where seen swimming together with fur seals. When we thought we had seen them all, an oceanic sunfish (Mola ramsayi) showed up as the icing on the cake to make our morning excursion unforgettable. This is certainly one of the rarest fish in the world, reaching up to 2000 pounds. The morning ended up with a snorkeling activity in deep water off the zodiac where we were literally swimming among turtles, cormorants and penguins as well.
In the afternoon, I was in the second group to disembark. This time, the excursion was done on Espinoza Point, northeast of Fernandina Island. This is the youngest island in the archipelago with an estimated age of 800,000 years. This is certainly the most pristine island in the Galapagos with no introduced mammals and other invasive species that may affect the ecology of Fernandina.
It’s on this island where the last volcanic eruption was reported in the Galapagos, four years ago.
From the ship, the island gives the impression of a hostile environment, but the reality is completely different. When I first stepped on the basaltic rocks of the island, I was welcomed by hundreds of marine iguanas. They are big, probably due to the nutrient rich waters found on the area that provides plenty of food to this unique reptile. Sea lions were seen playing with one another on the beach always been watched by an alpha male who was barking to let us know he was around.
After walking for 2.5 hours I headed back to Silver Galapagos. It was a perfect sunny afternoon with a beautiful Galapagos sunset!
The evening was followed by a briefing and delicious dinner. I ended up my day having a drink and sharing underwater adventures with some of the guests, willing to start another day full of surprises.
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