Monday, December 5, 2011

Santa Cruz Island - South Plaza Island - Santa Fe Island

27 Nov 2011

Our slumbers on board were rudely disturbed at 3.00 with the ships anchor being pulled up and the chain being stored directly under our cabin!  We slept fitfully, as we continued cruising until 6.00 when the anchor went back down.

Galapagos Voyager moored at South Plaza Island

At breakfast at 7.00, this was to become routine breakfast time, we found ourselves anchored alongside South Plaza Island.  On the low cliffs we could see lots of sea-birds roosting and overhead, Frigate Birds and one or two Red-Billed Tropic-birds.

Not long after breakfast, we did a 'dry-landing' on South Plaza island and made the acquaintance of Galapagos Sea-lions.  'Dry landing' meant our inflatable dinghy pulling up to a jetty/steps/rocks so we could step off in trainers.

Sally-Lightfoot Crab

After a walk with our guide, Williams, we returned to the boat with cameras full of pictures of birds, Sally-lighfoot Crabs and Land Iguanas.

Male Land Iguana in breeding colours

The boat then sailed to Santa Fe Island whilst we had lunch.

After lunch, it was into the dinghy and off to Barrington Bay where we had a 'wet-landing'.  This entailed reversing the dinghy into a beach, then all of us clambering out into the sea to walk up onto the beach.  During this landing, we started to get to know the 'foibles'of some of our fellow guests.  Watching someone hopping around on a sandy beach trying to rinse sand of feet, dry feet, put socks on and then lace up trainers did provide some amusement!

Bull Sea-Lion guarding his beach

Shortly after getting out of the boat a male Sea-Lion charged up the beach to inspect us and make lots of noise to impress his rivals!  After a short walk around, we had the chance to snorkel. The water was cool, but the visibility was good and we saw lots of reef fish, Parrot-fish, Bump-head Wrasse, Giant Damselle fish, Puffer fish and Sergeant-majors.

Back on the boat we had a chance to relax before dinner with a beer.  We then attended the 6.30 briefing, during which Williams told us the plans for the next 24 hours.  After this we had a three-course dinner, which once again was excellent.  Not long after dinner, the anchor came up and we we headed for Espanola Island, a seven hour overnight cruise away.  The sea was a little choppy, and several people started to suffer from sea-sickness.

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