September 17, 2007
Galapagos Cruise Day 4
We got to Floreana Island early in the morning once again, and our first stop was to a place called Puerto Cormorant. We had another guided walk around the shore, and we learned that this island was quite swampy compared with the others. The main animals we saw were flamingos, but there were only a few searching for fish in the murky waters. We walked to the beach on the other side of the island, and Wilmer pointed out a dead puffer fish that had washed ashore. We also got to see the tracks left last night by a sea turtle as it dragged its way onto the beach and buried its eggs in the sand, a lucky sighting considering how quickly sand erodes.
Next we made the short trip to the Devil's Crown, a circle of rocks jutting out of the ocean near the main island, for our best day of snorkeling yet. Visibility was so great, I could see all the way to the coral bottom, even when it was fifteen meters below the surface. Massive fish were constantly circling me, there were starfish laying all over the place, and huge stingrays floated past me every few minutes.
But the best part of the Devil's Crown was a tunnel that went through the coral rocks two meters down. The sun's rays were hitting the tunnel so brilliantly, it acted like a beacon, begging me to swim through it. Just as a I grabbed a breath of air for my attempt, a sea lion torpedoed right past me and through the tunnel, as if to lead the way. Soon, I joined her on the other side, and we barked our congratulations to each other. I felt like the boy version of Little Mermaid.
Or final stop of the day was in Post Office Bay, on the other side of the island. Back in the days when the Galapagos were used as a whaling station, a barrel was set up there for mailing letters. When the sailors went to the bay, they left letters addressed to their friends, and took letters addressed to places they were soon going. The barrel has been replaced many times over the years, but the concept still exists. When we opened the barrel, we found postcards for people all over the world. Zoe, a Kiwi girl on our boat, found a card addressed for only a few blocks from where she grew up. Wilmer claims that so many tourists visit the place, the system actually works better than the regular mail. We'll see about that. In any case, it's an interesting concept that I think should be implemented at tourist destinations all over the world.
After leaving Floreana, we steamed all afternoon back to Puerto Ayora. Once we parked in the bay, we were free to check out the town for some Galapagos nightlife. A lot of the people on the boat hadn't been to Puerto Ayora yet, having arrived in the Galapagos on the first day of the cruise. We hadn't had much of a chance to socialize so far because of our action-packed days, but the group turned out to be a fun one tonight at the Pongo Bar.
The photo album for this entry is here.