We traveled about 8 hours last night to reach Post Office Bay on Floreana Island. We headed to shore and our first stop was the Post Office. Back in the late 18th century, a barrel was placed here by English whaling vessels to be used as a post office. Passing ships would stop to leave mail for family at home and pick up any mail for ports on their itinerary. Now, it´s mainly used for you guessed it, tourists. You can mail a postcard with no stamps! There was a six inch stack that we went through. I picked up two postcards that are for Madrid, since I´ll be heading there in April. The plan is to hand deliver or if you can´t do that, take it home and put a stamp on it. The other option is leave a postcard for pick up if you know someone that will be heading there in the future. Eric and Christi - I left a postcard for you! Wes, Tammy and my dad - I also left postcards with your address on them. So, if you get a stranger knocking on the door, it may be mail hand delivered all the way from the Galapagos!
We then walked to a lava cave. It was about 40-50' below the ground. There were two long ladders and then we just kept going down. We then reached a swimming hole. The water was so cool and deep, I swam to the end and it was definitely over my head. It was something I had never experienced before. My head lamp worked really well to light the way. Unfortunately, I also had my first mishap. I had asked the guide if I should bring my camera. He said sure, as we reached water, I slipped on a rock and was in the water. My camera was around my neck and only two weeks old! Even though it was in a case and was only in for a few seconds, it was done for. No more pictures for me! My guide, felt so bad, he hand carried my camera all the way back and put it in a special spot on the boat to dry it out. He also pointed to all the scrapes on my legs and said, memories of the Galapagos.
After lunch, we usually had a two hour break. Our crew was meeting up with three other boats to play soccer. About 5 of us went to watch. It was a small dirt field with small goalposts. They had their own uniforms with their names on the back. It was fun to root them on, especially since they had $100 on the game. It´s something to they do each week. Unfortunately, they didn´t win but they did let one of our group members play. When we got back, we traveled to Punta Cormorant. We went snorkeling at Devil´s Crown and saw so many colorful fish and sea lions. The sea lions startled me a few times. They were so close! I also swam through some jelly fish or something. I had red marks all over my arms but the stinging stopped within a few hours. Later, we went on land and hiked to a lake where we saw flamingos and their nests and then to a beach were you could see sea turtles in the bay. There were two that were mating, actually two males and one female, the poor thing. The worse part was she was probably waiting for night time to lay her eggs on the beach. So, it really was a waste of their time! It was quite amazing to watch them in the water and you could see the trail they make in the sand when they head to shore at night. We had to be off all the islands by 6 pm each day. It is one of the park rules and they are also very good that you do not veer off the trail. Two steps in the wrong direction and they are on you to get back on the trial. We also saw many sea lions on the beach.
That night, a few of us were on the top deck and watched dolphins jumping in front of the boat as we headed to our next stop. It was such a beautiful sight, with their reflection in the moonlight. There must have been at least 6 of them, 3 of them jumping in unison.