Today is our last island and snorkeling day! Have to make the most of it. Also, this is our last day with Andres as our guide which is sad. He has been amazing. Floreana is one of the southernmost islands of the Galapagos.
Temperature most days has been between 30 to 31 C (85 to 88 degrees F). So you can see why it was nice to hike in the fog some days. Today we had breakfast on the second deck rather than in the dining room, nice views.
View of Devils Crown islands where we will snorkel later today
We took pangas to Cormorant Point on Floreana Island. Very unique experience as the the water was cold on Devils Crown side where we disembarked the pangas. But, we hiked across island and the water was very warm. At first we said,” can we go in?” Andres said, “no”…more about that later.
Bob, wet landing
Group wet landing
One panga heading back to ship
As we took the path across the island we had the opportunity to see more more flamingos and babies.
The path up the hill to the other side
Volcanic cinder cone in background
Land locked lake where Flamingos live
The babies were almost white as they have not eaten enough shrimp to turn pink! Unfortunately, the pictures of the babies did not come out.
We hiked over the hill to the other side to a beautiful beach with warm water.
Trail to the other side
As we walked, some immediately tested the water and it was so warm and inviting. Andres said, “first let’s walk over here”. He showed us the turtle nesting grounds up away from the beach. At this time, just the trails of the turtles were left no turtles.
Stop sign, no walking above this line to protect the turtle nesting area
The Andres directed our attention back to the shore break. You could see dark images in the surf line, these were rather large sharks (4 to 6 ft long) that patrol this beach just circling round from one end of the beach and back. Hence, he didn’t recommend we go into this water!
See the dark shape just past the wave?
Two sharks in the wave
Along with the sharks we saw some stingrays in the waves.
We hiked back and took pangas to the boat and had a break until 10:30 am. Then we all got ready for our deep water snorkel which had us snorkeling all the way around Devils Crown. Very clear water, many fish, some sharks that Bob and others saw. This was a great snorkel. One side had a steep drop off into the deep water and the other side was like a large rocky bottom tide pool about 15 to 25 feet in places. The snorkeling was beautiful.
Everyone was ready to dry off, talk about what they had seen and enjoy the lunch BBQ on the 2nd deck.
Crew preparing the lunch buffet
Bob and Jeff talking with crew
Warming up, but protected from the sun
Bob and Jeff
Well, I can see I had a faulty memory as Jeff and Lori are obviously still here. They didn’t leave after 5 days as I said in an earlier post.
After lunch we took pangas to Post Office Bay to check for postcards to deliver. Post Office Barrel is a big deal for many and most of the cruise ships stop here along with small tours. The barrel stop is old, they say it was the sailors post office. It began with ships stopping at the Galapagos to pick up stores and a barrel was set up for other ships to pick up mail to carry on if they were going to a destination marked on the letter. The barrel has been replaced and now it is a fun activity for tourists to pick up and drop off a post card to have it hand delivered. We picked up a card and hand delivered it to an Oakland, CA family after we got home. Some people just take the cards back to their country and put them in the post too.
Approaching the barrel
Relatively new barrel now
Andres explaning the tradition
The card we picked up and delivered
Then we walked back to the beach. This was supposed to be time to relax, walk around or snorkel from the beach. The crew and Andres all went to a nearby soccer field for some time off and a game. Unfortunately, the beach had lots of biting flies so we stayed in the water up to our necks or snorkeled. It was almost impossible to escape the flies. This was the only time we had run into this situation on our trip. Luckily, we also saw 2 penguins on the rocky beach when we were in the pangas. Supposedly, we should have seen seahorses near the rocky shore area, but I don’t think any of the group found them. We did see lots of fish and rays.
Back to the ship to clean up for dinner and final briefing. Tomorrow, we split up into two groups; those going to the airport and those staying on the islands. Our group was the airport group and we were to have a new guide for our trip to the airport and stops along the way.
Our last sunset in the Galapagos Islands
Back to Galapagos – 17
Back to Galapagos – 16
Galapagos – 19
I have two more posts planned for this series, please check back soon.
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