Lions, Iguanas And Boobies, Oh My!
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Ecuador
Breakfast on day 3 was very welcome for Lindsay having completely emptied her stomach during the night. While we had been in bed early, neither of us got much sleep before about 4am when the boat had finally come to rest off Isla Española.
Fortunately our first activity was a bit of time to relax on the beach. We had anchored just off a lovely white sand beach where the dinghy dropped us. At one end of the beach we found the carcass of a baby whale, which wasn't the most pleasant thing to see, but the rest of the beach was really nice.
We shared the beach with a few sea lions, birds and crabs. Mostly it was nice to have some time just to sit and enjoy the surroundings. There were male sea lions parading back and forth in the water warning others to stay out of their territory while the rest of them just soaked up the sun on the beach.
After a while it was time to move on, to another part of the island where we made a landing to go for a walk. Once again we were greeted by masses of sea lions and iguanas. This time the iguanas had a red colouring over their bodies. They had different colouring on each island we had visited thus far which was really interesting.
As a special treat we managed to spot a Galapagos Sea Lion. This guy was huge and fat with a big round face, and unlike the common sea lions we had seen everywhere else he wasn't happy with our presence and made his way (slowly) away from us and into the ocean.
We also saw our first stationary blue footed booby, though it had its head ticked away which wasn't good for our photos. Our guide told us now to worry as we would see plenty more, but as luck would have it the boobies had decided to hang out somewhere else that day.
But we didn't completely luck out. We found quite a few albatross along the path, both adults and their less attractive fluffy offspring. A few of the adult birds were soaring over our heads. With their enormous wingspan they looked so majestic gliding effortlessly on the breeze.
On the far side of the island was a natural blow hole. As the waves came in, the blow hole would shoot water up into the air, though we didn't stay close for long as the wind direction was carrying the spray directly for us.
Walking back to the beach we were following a narrow pathway which we suddenly found was blocked by a pregnant sea lion, making her a little grumpier than most. Our guide tried to get her to move using a few noises and gestures. When she had moved enough we started squeezing by one by one, but after another grumpy outburst she was right back in our way. This process repeated for quite some time before we all made it back through!
Our final activity for the day was a snorkel around a cliff edge. Some playful sea lions joined us, and we also swam into a bit of a cave which gave us a bit of a ride on the current as the water flowed in and out. We also saw the usual fish but no rays, turtles or sharks on this occasion.
Back on the boat we asked the captain what time we would sail that night, in order to be prepared. He replied we would move at midnight, however as soon as we finished our after dinner briefing the anchor came up and we were on the move! They did it again! Fortunately the current was more favourable, though Lindsay went straight to bed just in case!