Monday, May 27, 2013

The Galapagos

David came down for a week and the three of us took off for a week on a boat in the Galapagos.  We had a wonderful time.  First, the other passengers on the boat were from all over the world -- Holland, South Africa, Argentina, New Zealand, Israel, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany.  We were the only Americans, and David was the only one who lived in the US.  Second, we had a wonderful boat and crew and our naturalist was top-notch.  And finally, the Galapagos themselves are truly amazing!!  The scenery is outstanding and the animals are fearless (you can get very close to them, but NO TOUCHING!!!!)  Here are a few photos out of the more than 1,000 that Gil took.

Our Boat, the Yolita II

Our wonderful chef and his assistant

The fabulous crew

Our naturalist, Dario

This little guy rolled around sniffing all of our feet while relaxing in the shade we made.  When we left, he tagged along with us for a little way until he collapsed and could go no further in the heat.  It's hard walking on land with flippers.

Cute baby sea lion

Mother and baby

Lunch time
Male frigate birds displaying to attract a mate with sea lion in back

Blue-footed boobie and her/his egg

You really can get this close  and they have no fear.

Handsome fellow

Nasca boobie, their feet are grey rather than blue.

Albatros pair

Albatros sitting on an egg

Thinking about taking off for a flight.  Albatros are so heavy they have to jump off a cliff to start flying from land.

Albatros preparing to jump off the cliff to start flying

And we're airborn!

Awkward on land, and beautiful in flight.  These are really big birds.

Galapagos hawk

Frigate birds cruising along with our boat.

The female decided to take a break and catch a ride on the boat.

Close up of Mrs. Frigate

More frigates flying in the wind the boat made.  They rarely flap their wings, they just ride the wind, and it's amazing how they keep up with the boat.

One of the finches that inspired Darwin

A different type of one of Darwin's finches

An abandoned finch nest

Brown pelican



Taking to the water

Diving and swimming underwater

Mama sea turtle tracks where she went up to lay her eggs.  We did encounter sea turtles while we snorkeled. 

Baby giant tortoises at the Darwin Center on Santa Cruz Island

Gian tortoises at the Darwin center

Giant tortoises in the wild at a reserve on Santa Cruz


Great heron

Another great heron

Kicker Rock where we snorkeled with a school of shark below us.  It was an amazing experience.

A white tip shark swimming near the shoreline

Beautiful red crabs on the black lava rocks.  They were all over the place and their red against the black rocks was gorgeous.

Land Iguana

Lava lizard

Marin Iguana

Blow hole

These are desert islands with lots of cacti and lots of lava rocks.
More cacti

Red lichen

Dazzling scenery

Strange buildings and goofy tourist on Santa Cruz

More strange buildings and goofy tourists

David and Gil

The explorers

David jumping off the top of the boat

The pirates mailbox on Floreana Island
Our route

Sunset over the Pacific