Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Day 10 - Sun 30 November - Cruise Galapagos...

It was the toughest night thus far with one roller almost upending me out of bed. By morning time we had entered a cove though so the boat was calmer. The cove was part of Floreana Island.

After breakfast we took a panga ride to Post Office Bay, a historic site that recalled the days of the whalers coming to the Galapagos for tortoises and water supplies.

First we zoomed along the coast line spotting blue-footed boobies nesting, sea lions playing and climbing trees (no, really), and herons fishing.

Back on the beach we wrote postcards to me, my mum and dad, Stu's mum and dad and Emma and posted them stampless in the beach drop box. Let's see if/when they arrive courtesy of strangers.
We picked up four cards that had been left there for someone in Pimlico, Stevenage and a couple in Essex.

After lunch and a siesta we visited Champion Islet for some more snorkelling and then a short walk.
The snorkelling wasn't the best we'd done as it was of the beach and the water was a little cloudy. We did see a sea turtle though and huge schools of fish and an electric pink and blue fish (whose name I've forgotten).

During our walk we saw flamingos. Did you know the Spanish word for flamingo is 'flamenco'? Hence the flamenco dance steps copy the pink bird's mating dance. Bio-mimicry - man copying nature.

Talking of Spanish... Galapagos is so named because the Spanish word for saddle is 'galapagos' and the giant tortoise's shells look like saddles. There you go fact fiends.

Anyway, back to our walk. Champion Islet itself was amazing, on one side the beach was impregnated with green semi precious stones - green ones - the same ones found on Mars - which helped NASA prove that there was once water on the red planet as the formation of these crystals requires water.

On the other side of the beach was a large sea turtle nesting site. We saw the tracks where the pregnant females had dragged themselves up onto the beach and the sandy mounds where the eggs were current incubating their 120 day stint. The tracks leading up the beach had the telltale caterpillar structures the legs make with a wide central flat smooth area as the tails were fatter due to the eggs inside the females body. The tracks were narrower on the way down after the eggs had been laid.
We also saw a female sea turtle being mounted by a male just of the shoreline. A number of other males were trying to dislodge him and her struggles to come up for air were slightly distressing. She was then attempting to come ashore to lay her eggs leaving her suitors behind. Incredible to witness.
Champion Islet was truly a magical place.

Back on the boat one last time we had our farewell cocktail on the sundeck followed by the disembarkation briefing followed by dinner.

We then settled our account: $287.05 for bar and gift shop bill + $286 tips to be shared between the 42-man crew, naturalists and bar staff.

Packed and in bed by 10pm it had been a long but satisfying day.

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