Day 2 – Galapagos Islands
Today I get up and have an amazing buffet breakfast on the boat. Great food and then we are off to a beach area for more snorkeling. The water out here is so blue and clear.
My favorite bird of the day was the albatross. The albatross is not only beautiful and fun to watch, but they also have very interesting lives. The Albatross is originally from Antartica. They resemble the penguin with their long yellow beaks. Every April, the albatrosses fly from Antarctica to The Island of Española (only to this particular island) to mate. Even after they make little albatrosses, the adult albatross partners court each other by playing and partaking in beak fights, which is much like a sword fight, only with beaks.
The albatross keeps the same mate for life. However, these mates only recognize each other in the Galápagos. I guess in Antartica the male albatrosses hang out with the guys and fish all day while the female albatross relaxes and goes shopping at the Mall of Antartica. Maybe this is why the albatross mates stay together for life. Anyways, back to the albatross in Galápagos… in December, the little albatross chicks at five months of age are finally ready to make the big flight back to Antartica. So, the albatrosses make this long journey back to Antartica, promising to return to Española the following April.
We made a wet landing on to this beautiful Island (meaning we take a small boat called a panga to the beach where we have to get out of the boat and walk a little in the water) as the day was just beginning.
The sea was a beautiful color blue and you could see clear down to the bottom. When we arrived on the beach we woke up the lazy sea lions. There were many of them laying on the beach, acknowledging our presence, but not too concerned about our arrival. In fact, they let us get very close to them. Hernand told me that the Spanish name for sea lions is lobos marinos (sea wolves) because sea lions are really like dogs; for instance, they do not roar, they bark. The bull especially can bark. The bull sea lion is the protector of the other female and children sea lions. He too let us pass, until we seemed to invade on his territory, and then he began to bark and come towards us. We had to clap in order to keep the bull away from us.
We also saw our first marine iguanas. The marine iguanas only exist on the Galápagos Islands. Some of them were quite colorful, sporting some red and aqua blue. Hernand explained that the male iguanas start looking pretty fine around mating time. Although, I am not sure why this matters since the males just have their way with the females when they are ready to mate. The iguanas are very territorial (like the bull) and they shake their head to notify all other marine iguanas that this is their spot. After this visit to paradise, we went for a short little snorkel, and received an introduction us to the underwater world of the Galápagos Islands.
The snorkeling here is totally amazing, there is so much to see under the water and I could stay here forever. The sea lions, sting rays, the many schools of fish, this is one place everyone has to go to.
After this we venture back to the boat for dinner.
Dinner tonight is again totally amazing. I head to bed early this evening. As I find I am almost stuck on the deck with Miss Overly Talkative Betty, So to escape her talking I go to bed. Cheers
Off for another night and Day 3 tomorrow.