The Galapagos Cruise Begins

I arrived last Sunday in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos.  After checking into my hotel, I headed out to find a last-minute cruise.          Ecuador-14

This is the Guantanamera.  It carries 16 passengers but on this trip there will be just 15 of us.  After I meet up with the boat, we have dinner and start for Genovesa Island.  The northern most visited island on the north side of the equator.  If you haven’t brought your own snorkel gear you can rent it from the crew for $30 for the week.

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We awaken on Monday morning near Genovesa Island and head to shore by dingy for the first of our hikes.

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Most of the Galapagos was formed by volcanoes.  The land is primarily lava and after millions of years, mangroves and other plants and grasses have started to grow.  Our guide Johan is an expert.  He is constantly educating us about the plants and animals we encounter.

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For example, there are three kinds of boobies here:  red-footed, blue-footed and Nazca.  We’ll see the red-footed and Nazca here and the blue-footed ones later.

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This is obviously the red-footed one.  It nests in trees.  The Nazca booby nests on the ground.  Here’s one with two eggs.

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Here’s a mother and her baby Nazca booby and a baby stretching her wings.

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The babies look like puffs of cotton.We also saw frigate birds here.  The males have a red pouch under their chins that they use to attract the females with.  I have one in flight and one sitting with his pouch inflated.

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This is a young female frigate bird with a white head.  The mature female has a black head.

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On Monday we also snorkeled three times.  We would snorkel from the dingy, from the beach and also off the boat although that was rare.  The first day we watched white-tipped sharks circle the boat while we were at anchor.  We weren’t allowed to jump from the boat there because they might think we were food.  We could swim among them if we had gone into the water from the dingy or from shore.  We also looked for hammerhead sharks.  If you look closely at this photo you can see the hammerhead shark.  It was about 15 feet below me and tends to blend into the background.

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And here’s a self-portrait I took with my underwater camera.

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We would snorkel from 20 minutes to 45 minutes depending on the activity around us.

Every day we returned to the boat for lunch while the boat moved to a different location.  We’d then do another hike and/or snorkel followed by some rest time and then dinner.  After dinner, we usually had a briefing about the next day’s activities.

Day 2 of the cruise is coming up.

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One Response to The Galapagos Cruise Begins

  1. Linda Cook says:

    Beautiful pictures. Nice to see one of you.

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