Galapagos Islands Day 2--North Seymour Island And Santa Fe Island, Ecuador
Apr 23, 2007
|MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2007. DAY 2--NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND AND SANTA FE ISLAND, GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, ECUADOR. After a 7:00 a.m. breakfast, we boarded dingys (called "pangas" in Spanish) for a dry landing on North Seymour Island. At the outcrop of rocks which substituted for a dock, a group of sea lions met us, including a couple of pups. From the dock, we hiked in a counterclockwise loop along a marked trail. Almost immediately along the trail, we encountered blue-footed boobies, Great Frigatebirds, and other birds. The birds are fearless, allowing us to approach within a few feet, and totally ignoring us. We watched as blue-footed boobies did a mating dance while cooing, the males spreading and stretching out their wings to impress the females. Similarly, the male Great Frigatebirds inflated their crimson pouches in a fabulous desplay of their chest--not unlike behavior of the human species. Amongst the nesting birds, we saw a number of Galapagos land iguanas. They looked straight out of the dinosaur era, with their yellow, reptilian skin. Along the shore, innumerable marine iguanas lay atop rocks sunning themselves.
In Santa Fe, we snorkelled within a sheltered bay. The highlight was swimming amongst a group of Galapagos sea lions. They are very playful animals, zipping around us like torpedoes as we snorkeled near them. After briefly returning to the Eden, we took the dinghys to shore where we encountered more Galapagos sea lions lazing about. Morris guided us on a short counterclockwise hike on Santa Fe island for close-up views of its indigenous Opuntia cactus trees, characterized by a tree stump to protect its top from wildlife below. On our panga ride back, we could see sea turtles swimming in the waters below.
Blue Footed Boobies
Numerous birds endemic to Galapagos Islands
Galapagos Land Iguanas
Sally Lightfoot Crabs
Santa Fe's Opuntia cactus trees