Te Amo Penguinos (Iguanas; Not So Much)!

Today, Good Friday (April 3rd,) was very good indeed.  We started off with a dry landing on Fernadina Island; one of the youngest of the Galápagos Islands.  As we approached the shore, you could see countless iguana heads bobbing in the sea. As we landed on the lava fields, the challenge was trying to find a place to walk where you were not stepping on iguanas. Truthfully, it was more than a little creepy!  Despite the desert atmosphere, it was almost reminiscent of Antarctica as the aroma of iguana poo was pervasive!😉

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Swimming iguana
Swimming iguana

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Carpets of iguanas
Carpets of iguanas

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As we toured the island, in addition to the iguanas, we were in the hunt to see flightless cormorants, who can dive to a depth of  over 60 feet, but cannot fly. We saw one nesting pair already sitting on their nest with two eggs inside. We also saw some herons, a young hawk, and some Pelicans. However, by the time our 2 hour tour was done, all any of us could focus on was the lure of our snorkeling expedition.

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Santiago Island
Galapagos hawk

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Isabela Island
Isabela Island

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Even more than the refreshment of the water after our lava hike, the sea life was amazing!  As we approached the dive site, once again, the rocks were carpeted with iguanas, with lots more of the little suckers bobbIng in the surf.  I was somewhat surprised to find them very graceful and appealing as we watched them grazing on the marine algae.  The fish were again amazing in both their quantity and diversity.  Right as we dropped in, there was a whole school of baby pufferfish and it only got better from there!

The highlight was the few moments we saw first a large sea turtle grazing, then an iguana joined the party, and finally, a sea lion plunged in, and twirled around, as if to say, “What about me?!” Don’t forget to play with me!”

After lunch, the Captain moved the boat to Fernandina island.  Later this afternoon, we had an opportunity to go kayaking.  Noteworthy moment: it was the first time Jim and I had shared a kayak without wanting to brain each other with the paddles!  Even though it was spitting rain, we set off, and saw more cormorant, some great brown pelicans and more fur seals.

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This afternoon, we again took the pangas out to see if we could spot some Galápagos penguins.  SCORE!!!!

In addition to the Galápagos penguins, we saw a great blue heron, more fur seals and some Blue-footed Boobys nesting in the cliffs around Tagus Cove.

Brown Pelican
Brown Pelican
Flightless cormarant
Flightless cormorant

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Blue-booted Booby
Blue-booted Booby

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