Day 14 – March 25: Galapagos #5 – Bartolome and North Seymour Islands
Galapagos Islands Travel Blog› entry 16 of 26 › view all entries
Bartolome Island has two volcanic humps with a sand spit in the middle. It has a boardwalk path that goes to the top of the volcanic cone. Not much wildlife – I saw 1 sea lion, 1 crab, and 1 lava lizard – but it has great geology with all the different lavas. It also has a great view from the top.
After the hike, we took a panga to the sand spit for beach time and snorkeling. Very close to the beach were 4 black tip reef sharks! They were only about 2-3 feet long and didn’t pay any attention at all to the swirling snorkelers.
A couple of people did the “deep water” snorkel, which started around the corner of the island and came around into the swimming bay. There were many sea lions playing with the snorkelers there.
The other highlight of the morning was that we saw 2 baby sea turtles (and I mean babies) coming out of their nest and make their way to the ocean. Our guide discovered them because of the flock of frigate birds that suddenly appeared.
Everyone was very excited and really wanted them to make it, even though we aren’t supposed to “interfere with nature”. Well, the group hovered over the tiny sea turtle as it worked its way to water. When the waves came in and carried it off, the group cheered! Then a frigate bird swooped down and ate it. Just like that.
To make matters worse, a second baby sea turtle came out and made the same journey with a hovering group of tourists, only to suffer the same fate.
· Black tipped reef shark
· King angelfish
· Rainbow runner
· Damsel fish
· Sea lions
Once we were all back on board, the boat drove around to North Seymour Island, which took about 3 hours.
The afternoon excursion started with snorkeling off the panga. This was very exciting because we got to swim with sea lions, which I really wanted to do in the Galapagos. There were also sharks, rays, and lots of fish. The sun was out, so we got some great photos and also a great sunburn.
We went on a hike this afternoon, which was our one chance at seeing land iguanas. The hike was so hot, I am not sure it was worth the land iguanas, but I guess I’m glad I went. There were also a lot of frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, and babies of both. All of the kids chose to stay behind, which I think was a great idea as they would have been hot and bored.
Everyone gathered in the lounge area, and we watched a movie on the nice TV while the kids played games.
Since we were going snorkeling right after hiking in the morning, we all wore our swimsuits under shorts and short-sleeved shirts with sandals and hats. No wetsuits, but a reef shirt or skin would have been nice just for sun protection.
For the afternoon, it was a snorkel from the boat, so just swimsuits (no other clothes or shoes necessary).
For the hike, it was brutal hot, so we all wore shorts and short-sleeved shirts with walking shoes and hats (dry landing and hot). Some people wore lightweight long-sleeved shirts, which I thought was a good idea for the powerful sun.
Breakfast was French toast, sausage, bacon, toast, cereal, fruit, yogurt, kiwi juice, and coffee/tea.
After the morning excursion, we had blackberry juice and fried shrimp – both excellent!!
For lunch, we had tortillas with taco meat, calamari, eggplant parmesan, beans, carrot salad, shredded cheese, guacamole, and fresh fruit.
After the afternoon excursion, we had guava juice, cheese empanadas, and vegetable empanadas.
The kids had hamburgers for dinner. The adults had a choice of shrimp curry or pork, which came with potatoes and vegetables plus a starter of salad. Dessert tonight was my favorite of the cruise – apple strudel with strawberry ice cream.