22.12.2012 25 °C
We awoke to find ourselves at Santa Fe Island, anchored in a beautiful calm turquoise cove. For those of us who have never slept on a boat before its certainly a unique experience. We woke up a couple times during the night to what I can only describe as a roller coaster ride, but we made it through with no issues. This is a good place to make a point, its worth it to make sure everything that can move around in your cabin is put away or secured before bed. The bathroom door is hooked in place but can still move a bit, good idea just close it.
Breakfast on the boat is served at 7am, the crew call the passengers to each meal or snack with a ringing of the bell. This would soon prove Pavlov's dog theory. Breakfast is followed by a quick repeat of the briefing we received last night on the days activities. So what to bring with us, camera, sunscreen, water, if it was to be a wet or dry landing on the island.
We got ourselves ready and jumped into the panga (dingy)and off to the island. The island of Santa Fe is home to sea lions, many species of birds, land iguana's and a cacti forest.
These three and males, larger and more colorful, so as to attract the female iguana's.
The cacti have grown tall to avoid being eaten by the land iguana's, who love to eat the little cactus pears that grow on them. The iguana's will sit under the trees and wait for the pears to fall off.
As we continued our walk which was about an hour we came across a Galapagos Hawk, which here in the islands are at the top of the food chain.
We continued our walk down to a beach near where we would be picked up and found sea lions, including a curious little pup who came for a visit. In the Galapagos visitors are not allowed to approach or touch the wildlife, but the wildlife is allowed to approach and touch you.
It was time to head back to the boat for our morning snack (ringing of the bell) and to get ourselves ready for a snorkel.
Wetsuits, masks snorkels, fins, underwater camera, into the panga and into the water we go. Right below us were some White Tipped Shark's, which are most active at night. Lots a fish and couple curious sea lions swam along with us, while the current pulled us along to the end of our snorkel. We also got to see a large Spotted Eagle Ray.
We were collected by the panga's and returned to the boat to dry off and have a break before lunch and a short sail to South Plaza Island. After lunch there was a mock saftey drill, 3 short sirens followed by a long continuous one. We grabbed our life jackets and met in the main cabin. Apparently our group was very quick and organized, a good thing when you need to evacuate the boat. Richard our guide went over the safety procedures of the boat, how to put on our life jackets and what to do in the event of an emergency.
We soon got to South Plaza Island, we were originally only going to do a panga ride along the coast as the island had been closed for study. Our guide learned that the island had been recently opened to visitors again. Off we when for walk around the island, many land iguana's, sea lion and birds call this small island home. After our walk we boarded the panga's for a quick trip to the coast of North Plaza Island, then back on board the boat.
After we all had a chance to shower and relax a bit, we were called to the main cabin for a briefing of tomorrows activities and a little bit of Q&A for about the where we had visited and what we saw today.
At 7 pm the dinner bell rung and dinner was served, the food so far has been great. After dinner we tried to play some cards and visit with the other passengers but everyone was tired from the days activities. Nobody won the card game and I think everyone was in bed by 9pm.