BARTOLOME - PINNACLE ROCK, PENGUINS, SALLY LIGHT FOOT CRABS OH MY!!!!

San Salvador Island Travel Blog

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PINNACLE ROCK


DAY 6
(ATTACKED BY MOSQUITOES, COLLECTED TRASH AND NO TIME FOR SNORKELING...*SIGH*)


NOTE: I KNOW WHAT TYPE OF CRAB IS "MR CRABS" (SPONAGE BOB SQUARE PANTS) IS, A GHOST CRAB :)

 

As the zodiac went closer to pinnacle rock, we saw boobies, pelicans and penguins. There were snorkelers nearby the shore. Then, we heard one of them say PENGUINS!!!! then moments later in the corner in my eye. I saw 2 penguins jumped up and perched themselves on a rocky shore with 2 other penguins. They are so cute.

 

Then in the back of the boat, Cindy yells SHARK!!!!! it was a white tip shark, juvenile,  they are not harmful.

CLOSER TO PINNACLE ROCK
 We all turn to her side. Cindy has eagle eyes and she is wearing maui jims, those sunglasses are polarized. You can see clearly in the water.

 

Then I see the other snorkelers rush to shore very slowly to not panic. HAHAHAH they were moving fast though HAHAHAHA.  I would love to snorkel where at. However, I knew we would not have time to snorkel. The sun was setting and I would murky and I would not expect to find turtles and sea lions.

 

Then we had a wet landing on the beach.  Rogelio was our naturalist here. We walked through the isthmus that separates the two main beaches.

PINNACLE ROCK
 

 

NOTE: OMG WE WERE ATTACKED BY MOSQUITOS WHILE WALKING HERE. I WALKING AND SHEWING THEM WE MY ARMS LIKE A CRAZED LUNATIC�..HAHAHAHA

 

I am glad I brought my insect repellant.  I was getting grossed out biting my legs and arms. I got out there with about 15 bites. We discovered the stagnant water nearby the beach. URG that is where the core was, UUUUUUUUUUUUUUGHHHHHHHH.

 

However, the walk was peaceful.

GALAPAGOS PENGUINS
We walked to the end of the beach. We were also picking up trash in the beach. I was gross picking up milk bottles, plastic bags, pieces of plastic, and beer bottles washed up to shore.  We collected plenty of trash to take back to the ship.

 

We saw sea turtle nests with pieces of shells on top of the nest. I would love to one day to see a baby sea turtle emerge out of the sand and make the long trek to the water without getting eaten by birds in the process.

 

Then I was telling my mum we should adopt a beach in the Galapagos Islands to fly here once a month to clean the beach.  WOULD THAT BE AN AWESOME IDEA?!?!?! Any reason to come back to paradise  :D

 

Then we all walked back to the other side of the island.

GALAPAGOS PENGUIN
THANKED GOD, all I was thinking about was to dip in the water to cool off and to soothe my mosquito bites. We only had  45min, no time to snorkel. Which was a bummer, I wanted more time to see sharks and rays. Oh well, mum and I just hang out on the beach took some photos and took a dip on the beach.

 


The Galápagos Penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus) is a penguin endemic to the Galápagos Islands. It is the only penguin to live on the equator and can survive due to the cool temperatures resulting from the Humboldt Current and cool waters from great depths brought up by the Cromwell Current. Its nearest relatives are the African Penguin, the Magellanic Penguin and the Humboldt Penguin.

GALAPAGOS PENGUIN SWIMMING
The Galápagos Penguin occurs primarily on Fernandina Island and the west coast of Isabela Island, but small populations are scattered on other islands in the Galápagos archipelago.

 

History

 

The Galapagos Penguin one of the smaller penguins. It is the only penguin to cross the Northern Hemisphere which means they live more north than any other warm weather penguin. 90% of the Galapagos Penguins live among the western islands of Fernandina and Isabela, but they can also be seen on Santiago, Bartolome, northern Santa Cruz, and Floreana.

 

Description

 

The penguins stay in the archipelago. They stay by the Cromwell Current during the day since it is cooler and return to the land at night.

GALAPAGOS PENGUIN SWIMMING
The average size for the penguins is 48-50cm and 2.5kg.They have a black head with a white border running from behind the eye, around the black ear-coverts and chin, to join on the throat. They have blackish-grey upperparts and whitish underparts, with two black bands across the breast, the lower band extending down the flanks to the thigh. Juveniles differ in having a wholly dark head, greyer on side and chin, and no breast-band. The female penguins are smaller than the males, but they are still a lot alike. They eat small schooling fish, mainly mullet, sardines, and sometimes crustaceans. They only go search for food during the day and normally within a few kilometers of their breeding site. They depend on the cold nutrient-rich currents to bring them food.

 

Behavior

 

The Galapagos Penguins breed as many as three times a year, since they don�t have a specified breeding season.

GHOST CRAB LAIR WITH CRAB CARCASSES
Because of this, they are able to choose when to breed, and they ultimately decide this depending on food supplies. Before they breed, the penguins molt, and they may do this twice a year. While the birds are molting, they usually stay out of the water. They are able to go to the sea for food rather than starve though since the water is so warm in their area. Since they molt right before breeding, they are sure that they will not starve during the molting process. Granted, that may mean that there is not enough food during the breeding season, but the survival of the adult penguins is more important than the younger ones since they are the ones that make sure the species does not go extinct.

 

Predators

 

Because of the Galapagos Penguin�s smaller size, it has many predators.

GHOST CRAB - THANKS JORGE :)
On land, the penguins must keep an eye out for crabs, snakes, owls, and hawks on land, while in the water they must avoid sharks, fur seals, and sea lions. Also due to this smaller size, they have more predators than larger penguins. They face many hazards due to humans, as well as the hazards of unreliable food resources and volcanic activity. Illegal fishermen interrupt the penguins� nesting area by knocking down mangrove trees, and they are often caught in fishing nets by mistake. Much balance has to take place to ensure that the Galapagos Penguins do not become extinct.

 

Breeding

 

Most nests are seen between May and January. The nests are made within 50 meters of the water on the shore. Adults stay near the breeding area during the year with their mate that they have chosen for life.

SALLY LIGHT FOOT CRABS CARRYING FOOD...A CRAB...EEEEK
When the penguins are breeding, incubation takes 38-40 days with both parents helping out. After thirty days of the chicks being born and both parents sharing responsibility of taking care of them, the chicks have feathers that are brown above and white below. The purpose of this is to protect the chicks from the strong sun more so than keeping them warm. The Galápagos Penguin mates for life. It lays one or two eggs in places such as caves and crevices, protected from direct sunlight, which can lead to the eggs overheating. One parent will always stay with the eggs or chicks while the other is absent for several days to feed. The parents usually only rear up one child. If there is not enough food available, the nest may be abandoned.

 

Temperature effect

 

The temperature at the islands stays between 15-28 degrees Celsius.

INVASION!!!!!!
During the El Nino seasons, the penguins put off breeding since the food becomes short from the effects of El Nino. They would rather put off breeding than risk the adults dying off since that would wipe out the population even more. They usually breed when the sea surface temperature is below 24 degrees Celsius which results in more food for them. The strong sun is the main problem for the penguins in the Galapagos Islands. The main way they cool off is by going into the water, but they have had many behavioral adaptations because of all the time they spend on land in the warm weather. There are two ways that help cool the penguin in the warmer weather on land. One is by stretching out their flippers and hunching forward to keep the sun from shining on their feet since they can lose heat from their flippers due to the blood flow there. They also pant because they can cool off from the evaporation from the throat and airways.
SALLY LIGHT FOOT CRABS

 

The species is endangered, with an estimated population size of around 1,500 individuals in 2004, according to a survey by the Charles Darwin Research Station. The population underwent an alarming decline of over 70% in the 1980s, but is slowly recovering. It is therefore the rarest penguin species (a status which is often falsely attributed to the Yellow-eyed penguin). Population levels are influenced by the effects of the El Niño Southern Oscillation, which reduces the availability of shoaling fish, leading to low reproduction or starvation. However, anthropogenic factors (e.g. oil pollution, fishing by-catch and competition) may be adding to the ongoing demise of this species. On Isabela Island, the introduced cats, dogs and rats may attack penguins and destroy their nests. When in the water, they are preyed upon by sharks, fur seals, and sea lions.

SALLY LIGHT FOOT CRABS

 

The sally lightfoot crab Grapsus grapsus (known variously as "red rock crab", "abuete negro", and, together with other crabs such as Percnon gibbesi, as "Sally Lightfoot") is one of the most common crabs along the western coast of South America. It can also be seen along the entire coast of Central America and Mexico, and nearby islands. It is one of the many charismatic species that inhabits the Galápagos Islands, and is often seen in photos of the archipelago, sometimes sharing the seaside rocks with the marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus).

 

G. grapsus is a typically-shaped crab, with five pairs of legs, the front two bearing small, blocky, symmetrical chelae. The other legs are broad and flat, with only the tips touching the substrate.

SALLY LIGHT FOOT CRABS
The crab's round, flat carapace is just over 8 cm (3 inches) in length. Young G. grapsus are black or dark brown in color and camouflage well on the black lava coasts of volcanic islands. Adults are quite variable in color. Some are muted brownish-red, some mottled or spotted brown, pink, or yellow. The ones seen on photographs of tropical island fauna are often bright orange or red with stripes or spots dorsally, blue and green ventrally, and sporting red claws and pink or blue eyes.

 

This crab lives amongst the rocks at the often turbulent, windy shore, just above the limit of the seaspray. It feeds on algae primarily, sometimes sampling plant matter and dead animals. It is a quick-moving and agile crab, and hard to catch, but not considered very edible by humans. It is used as bait by fishermen.

 

The species Grapsus grapsus and G.

HERMIT CRAB
adscensionis were not separated until 1990. The latter is found in the eastern Atlantic, while the former is not.

 

They were sighted by Charles Darwin during his voyages on HMS Beagle, and also by the first comprehensive study of the fauna of the Gulf of California, carried out by Ed Ricketts, together with John Steinbeck and others. Steinbeck records

 

    Many people have spoken at length of the Sally Lightfoots. In fact, everyone who has seen them has been delighted with them. The very name they are called by reflects the delight of the name. These little crabs, with brilliant cloisonné carapaces, walk on their tiptoes, They have remarkable eyes and an extremely fast reaction time. In spite of the fact that they swarm on the rocks at the Cape [San Lucas], and to a less degree inside the Gulf [of California], they are exceedingly hard to catch.

They seem to be able to run in any of four directions; but more than this, perhaps because of their rapid reaction time, they appear to read the mind of their hunter. They escape the long-handled net, anticipating from what direction it is coming. If you walk slowly, they move slowly ahead of you in droves. If you hurry, they hurry. When you plunge at them, they seem to disappear in a puff of blue smoke�"at any rate, they disappear. It is impossible to creep up on them. They are very beautiful, with clear brilliant colors, red and blues and warm browns.

    â�¦

   Man reacts peculiarly but consistently in his relationship with Sally Lightfoot. His tendency eventually is to scream curses, to hurl himself at them, and to come up foaming with rage and bruised all over his chest.

SEA LIONS
Thus, Tiny, leaping forward, slipped and fell and hurt his arm. He never forgot nor forgave his enemy. From then on he attacked Lightfoots by every foul means he could contrive and a training in Monterey street fighting has equipped him well for this kind of battle). He hurled rocks at them; he smashed at them with boards; and he even considered poisoning them. Eventually we did catch a few Sallys, but we think they were the halt and the blind, the simpletons of their species. With reasonably well-balanced and non-neurotic Lightfoots we stood no chance.

 

Bartolome Island (Isla Bartolome), Galapagos Islands,  just off Isla San Salvadorâ��s Sullivan Bay coast, the tiny islet of Isla Bartolome is among the younger of the Galapagos Islands. With a total land area of just 1.

PRICKLY PEAR CACTUS
2 sq km, this island offers some of the most beautiful landscapes in the archipelago. One of the most famous landmarks in the Galapagos can also be found here, Pinnacle Rock, which is among the most frequently photographed vistas of this volcanic island chain.

 

Shown recently in the Hollywood movie �Master & Commander�, this towering rock face is actually an eroded lava formation. Formed when magma was expelled from an underwater volcano; the sea cooled the hot lava, which then exploded, only to come together and form this huge rock made up of many thin layers of basalt. Pinnacle Rock is considered to be the emblem of the Galapagos to many, and is one of the most recognizable sites here.

 

Tourists can get off on the island opposite Pinnacle Rock and then proceed to climb a 600m trail to Isla Bartolome�s 114m high summit.

SAND DUNES
From here one is treated to some truly stunning views of Sullivan Bay, Isla San Salvador (Santiago), Pinnacle Rock and Islas Daphne. Though a pretty desolate island with mostly dried shrubbery like candelabra cacti and a few lava lizards running about, what makes this island so special besides Pinnacle Rock is the fact that out here, one can spot the ever playful Galapagos Penguins, which are the second smallest penguin species in the world.

 

Found near Pinnacle Rock�s shore or swimming in the waters around the Rock, these penguins are a joy to watch as they can be found nowhere else on earth, especially in such warm climates. Take a panga ride around the island to spot them or walk along a white sand beach strip to catch a glimpse of them swimming alongside marine turtles, a variety of brightly colored tropical fish and white-tipped reef sharks, the Galapagos Hawk flies overhead.

PINNACLE ROCK
Marine turtles come ashore to nest here between January and March, while the snorkeling and swimming out here is also pretty amazing.

 

To reach the island�s summit, visitors have a dry landing from the jetty. However, to visit the beach, a wet landing is necessary. Also don�t forget to bring your camera here for some wonderful photo opportunities of the neighboring islands and superb scenery.

 

 

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PINNACLE ROCK
PINNACLE ROCK
CLOSER TO PINNACLE ROCK
CLOSER TO PINNACLE ROCK
PINNACLE ROCK
PINNACLE ROCK
GALAPAGOS PENGUINS
GALAPAGOS PENGUINS
GALAPAGOS PENGUIN
GALAPAGOS PENGUIN
GALAPAGOS PENGUIN SWIMMING
GALAPAGOS PENGUIN SWIMMING
GALAPAGOS PENGUIN SWIMMING
GALAPAGOS PENGUIN SWIMMING
GHOST CRAB LAIR WITH CRAB CARCASSES
GHOST CRAB LAIR WITH CRAB CARCASSES
GHOST CRAB - THANKS JORGE :)
GHOST CRAB - THANKS JORGE :)
SALLY LIGHT FOOT CRABS CARRYING FO…
SALLY LIGHT FOOT CRABS CARRYING F…
INVASION!!!!!!
INVASION!!!!!!
SALLY LIGHT FOOT CRABS
SALLY LIGHT FOOT CRABS
SALLY LIGHT FOOT CRABS
SALLY LIGHT FOOT CRABS
SALLY LIGHT FOOT CRABS
SALLY LIGHT FOOT CRABS
HERMIT CRAB
HERMIT CRAB
SEA LIONS
SEA LIONS
PRICKLY PEAR CACTUS
PRICKLY PEAR CACTUS
SAND DUNES
SAND DUNES
PINNACLE ROCK
PINNACLE ROCK
GALAPAGOS PENGUINS
GALAPAGOS PENGUINS
GALAPAGOS PENGUINS
GALAPAGOS PENGUINS
GALAPAGOS PENGUINS
GALAPAGOS PENGUINS
PINNACLE ROCK
PINNACLE ROCK
PINNACLE ROCK
PINNACLE ROCK
LAVA TUBES
LAVA TUBES
BOOBIES
BOOBIES
BOOBIES
BOOBIES
EATEN SEA URCHIN
EATEN SEA URCHIN
SALLY LIGHT FOOT CRAB
SALLY LIGHT FOOT CRAB
SALLY LIGHT FOOT CRABS
SALLY LIGHT FOOT CRABS
SALLY LIGHT FOOT CRAB
SALLY LIGHT FOOT CRAB
SALLY LIGHT FOOT CRABS
SALLY LIGHT FOOT CRABS
FAMILY?!?!
FAMILY?!?!
SAND DUNES
SAND DUNES
SAND DUNES
SAND DUNES
SEA TURTLE NEST WITH EGG SHELLS
SEA TURTLE NEST WITH EGG SHELLS
LAVA LIZARD
LAVA LIZARD
San Salvador Island
photo by: arantius