This morning started off with a killer panga ride along the cliffs and outlying islets of Santiago Island. Fair warning, it’s REALLY hard to take decent pictures when you’re sitting on the side of of bobbing little boat, so some of these photos are more, shall we say suggestive, of what we saw than truly representational. However, the later land-based photos will hopefully make up for it.
During the panga ride, we saw the first of the Blue-footed Boobys for which the Galápagos are famous. However, even more cool, we saw lots of sea turtle bobbing in the waves! A blue heron graced us with his presence on a rock outcropping really close to our boat. Then we got to see some Manta rays breaking the surface, as the chased some amazing schools of surgeon fish massing at the surface. As a preview of things to come, we also saw our first marine iguana basking in the sun. This afternoon, we hope to see more of these prehistoric-looking reptiles.
Then we returned to the ship for some snorkel time.
Later that afternoon, we landed on Santiago, and were immediately greeted by more fur seals. We even captured some video of a baby fur seal nursing!
As we hiked over the lava, we began to see the marine iguanas, as well as some lizards. We dodged a small rainstorm, and then I spent some time chasing Sally Lightfoot crabs through the tide pools for pictures, and we even got some decent late afternoon seashore shots. We’re looking forward to another great day tomorrow.