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Field Notes Close to home or in a far away jungle, there is always something marvelous to see.

Cruising the Galapagos

ECUADOR | Wednesday, 9 June 2010 | Views [581]

Colorful Isla Santa Fe- Galapagos Islands

Colorful Isla Santa Fe- Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos consist of 12 main islands and about a dozen minor ones and each one has multiple names; Santa Cruz is Indefatigable, San Salvador is Santiago and Santa Maria is also known as Floreana or Charles. The islands are volcanic in origin and the oldest is about 5 million years old.  The newest islands are in the west and each has its own geology and unique flora and fauna.

Our cruise, like most, began and ended at Santa Cruz.  Most long sea crossings, or navigations, took place at night while you are (hopefully) sleeping.  June is between the warm, wet season and the cooler dry season and the seas can be rough. 

We overnighted in Santiago, Isabela, Floreana, Espanola (Hood), Santa Fe, and Santa Cruz.  We also visited Bartolome, Sombrero Chino (Chinese Hat), Islas Plazas and Isla Seymour.  Some of the crossings were horrendous and only seasickness remedies kept us from being ‘sicker than a dawg.’  But the anchorages, with the exception of Puerto Aroyo on Santa Cruz, were idyllic.

Espanola is the southernmost of the Galapagos.  It may be small but it has everything we hoped to see except tortoises.  The sea lions are mellow to the point of tameness, waved albatrosses, blue-footed boobies, Nasca boobies and swallow-tail gulls perform their courtship dances just inches away from you while all of the above plus frigate birds and tropic birds soar overhead.  Hood mockingbirds hop up to your feet and several species of finches flit around in the bushes.  The anchorage is like a pond and you can watch sea lions surf the gentle shore break.  If I could visit only one island it would be Espanola. 

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