Monday, December 5, 2011

Santa Cruz and Baltra Islands

30 Nov 2011

We are getting used to the long overnight cruises, but we don't sleep particularly well, especially when the boat rolls and we think we are going to be flung out of bed!  The pitching isn't so bad, although sometimes when your head is below the height of your feet, it feels a bit weird.

Dawn at Santa Cruz Island

This morning, after breakfast, we landed on Bacha Beach on northern Santa Cruz Island.  we found Pelicans, Whimbrels, Sanderlings, Common Noddies, Flamingos, Pin-tailed Ducks and Great Herons. We also encounter a large, noisy group of American tourist that provided us with some entertainment!


Back on the boat, we sailed across to Baltra Island where the boat was refuelled.  We were confined to our cabins whilst this is going on for safety reasons!

Great Heron

After lunch, we arrived back off the coast of Santa Cruz at Black Turtle Creek.  We got into the dinghys and after a rather 'hairy' chase through the surf and around the rocks we entered the sheltered lagoon,and our boatmen took us around the brackish waters of the creeks that are surrounded by mangroves.  There were plenty of Night Herons, but most people were fascinated to see Turtles mating in the shallow waters.  Apparently the mating process takes several hours with the males clinging on to the backs of the females, whilst other hopeful males circle the couple!

Female Turtle

Also in the mangrove lakes we saw several large Rays and White-Tipped Reef Sharks, I had no idea Reef Sharks frequented such shallow lagoons!

Lava Heron

Back on board ship we had dinner and the boat immediately pulled up the anchor for another long overnight cruise.  Some time around midnight, we will cross the equator back into the Northern Hemisphere.

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