Sunday, June 02, 2019

Bucket List?

I’m not really a fan of bucket lists but if I had one the Galapagos would have been at the top of the list for a long time. Maybe even the only thing. There’s something about these remote islands with their unique flora/fauna that inspired Darwin and have also fascinated me. 

You don’t come to the Galapagos for the beautiful scenery, or the native history or the local culture, although there’s some of that too. You come for the animals. Many of the islands are quite barren and uninviting. 

According to our guide Milton, on these islands you don’t go looking for the animals - they will come to you. And boy was he right!

The sea lions loved cavorting among us snorkellers and for me it took some getting used to as they headed right for me before turning. 

These golden coloured land iguanas often blocked our path and look scary but were not frightening in the least. 

Land iguanas can also be dark coloured. They don’t move fast and we spotted many iguanas both land and marine. 

Great frigate birds have a huge wing span (over a meter I’d estimate) and the males have a small red sack by their throat that they 'balloon' up for mating. We saw a lot of these. 

Their babies are cute and fluffy!

The blue footed boobie was also nesting. Here the adult boobie is protecting the baby from the sun. 
We spent a morning traipsing over a huge lava field that had many interesting patterns but very little life. 
To reach shore from the boat we take a zodiac or panga. Along the way Ross had another incident with his hat (deftly recovered out of the sea). 

Ross got photobombed again - this time by the small Galápagos penguins which we were fortunate to see. Our guide gave us a 0.001 chance of seeing them. 

I joined huge schools of brightly coloured surgeon fish. We’ve snorkelled 2x most days in between shore landings. 

There are sharks in these waters and we saw about 6 white tipped ones from the zodiac. Here’s a black tipped one spotted from the dock. 

The animals here are without predators so they don’t worry about humans. It’s also commendable what the country is doing to try to preserve the natural environment by limiting the impact of humans. 

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