The Galápagos Islands Day 6

Monday, April 11th, 2022

This morning we began with a wet landing and then hiking at Urbina Bay, along Isabela’s western coast. This area was uplifted from the sea and showed signs of a coral reef on land! This elevation occurred in the 1950’s from an eruption of The Alcedo Volcano. It is one of the six that make up Isabela Island.

Our wet landing location

As we trekked inland we spotted many Galápagos tortoises or Galápagos giant tortoise. It was the largest living species of tortoise. These tortoises grazed on grass, leaves, and cactus. Many were feeding and a few were mating. As Fernando stated, “love is in the air”!

Land iguanas were also lying around. These iguanas were very different from the marine iguanas. They were primarily herbivores and they were cold-blooded. These yellowish land iguanas were one of three species of land iguanas found in the Galápagos Islands. The other two species were not found here.

The Manchineel tree was found on this island. One doesn’t want to touch this tree. It had a toxic sap that was in the bark, the leaves, and the fruit which resembled a green apple! This toxic tree caused severe blistering. This tree was also discussed the Jodi Picoult book, Wish You Were Here.

We spotted a hermit crab which was a scavenger and looking for food. It would eat whatever it could find.

A Galápagos Hermit Crab

After our trek we got ready to snorkel from the beach. We used the lava rocks to take off our hiking shoes and underneath we wore our swimsuits. We just put on our wetsuits and grabbed our snorkeling gear and off we went into the water. The tide was coming in so the water wasn’t very clear and the current was strong. This was our shortest time snorkeling.

After lunch we sailed to Tagus Cove which also was part of Isabela Island. We went kayaking and saw the names of hundreds of ships names painted (grafitti) on the high stones. This is prohibited now. The names were everywhere. Tagus Cove also was a hideout for whalers and pirates because of its protection by the surf.

After our kayaking adventure we went snorkeling here and the water was much clearer. Fernando’s GoPro broke so he used Dave’s to take pictures and video the rest of the trip. The pictures below were taken with our underwater camera.

The following snorkeling pictures were taken with the GoPro! It captured some wonderful underwater life!

Next we had a dry landing and hiked uphill! At one of our stops we saw Darwin Lake (crater lake) and Tagus Bay! It was just a small strip of land separating the two bodies of water. It was threatening rain so the visibility wasn’t very good.

An interesting fact about Darwin Lake was that it’s salty! They think it was because of the volcanic eruptions that caused earthquakes and tsunamis that caused the ocean water to get in the lake.

We continued our climb to the top of a parasitic volcanic cone. It started to rain and it made the trek down slippery and daylight was fading quickly.

It was a very busy day and we were tired but excited about what all we experienced! We stayed awake because the captain invited us to the bridge to see the latitude roll to all zeros as we crossed the equator.

Crossing the Equator!

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