Wednesday, April 13th, 2022
Today was a very early start and it was a beautiful sunrise.
Every morning the ship chef had fresh fruit and a centerpiece of fruit carved into an animal shape! This morning was our favorite!
Our first activity was to navigate around Sombrero Chino (Chinese Hat) which was located near Santiago Island. It was an island with a small volcanic cone that resembles a Chinese hat. We had a wet landing and a hike around the island.
Along the beach we immediately saw a sea lion swimming, sally lightfoot crabs scrambling around and a great blue heron!
A mother sea lion was nursing on the beach near where we came ashore.
There were also a lot of sea lions hanging around.
The island trail from the beach headed through a lava field. We saw wildlife and the views were spectacular.
As we hiked on the trail we saw marine iguanas out on the rocks.
Common carpetweed could be found all over the lava field! It is an endemic species of plant to the Galápagos.
After our hike on Chinese Hat we went back to the ship to get ready for our last snorkeling excursion. We can’t believe it is our last time. We’ve had such fantastic experiences so far. Well, let us tell you, our last snorkeling time was one amazing encounter. We had read that the snorkeling by Chinese Hat was excellent because the area is pretty protected and the water is clear and full of marine life! It did not disappoint. We saw Galápagos penguins, stingrays, white tip sharks, sea turtles, sea lions, sea stars, and many varieties of fish! Our entire group was pumped up when we came to the yacht.
Some pictures from our last time snorkeling!
We saw a lot of sea cucumbers!
And so many fish!
This afternoon Fernando gave a lecture called “What Are We Stepping On?” He discussed the three main types of rocks that we have seen. The first: magmatic or igneous rocks which were formed from the cooling and solidifying of magma or lava. The two main types of igneous rocks were intrusive(plutonic rocks) and extrusive(volcanic rocks). Extrusive rocks were formed on the surface from lava and intrusive rocks were formed from magma that cooled and solidified within the crust, they never reached the surface. The second type of rock was the sedimentary rocks that were formed on or near the Earth’s surface from preexisting rocks and/or pieces of once living organisms. And the third type of rock he discussed was the metamorphic rocks. These rocks began as one type of rock and then were exposed to high heat, high pressure, hot mineral-rich fluids or any combination of these and gradually changed into a new type. These conditions were found deep in the Earth or where tectonic plates collide.
Some of the passengers were interested in touring the yacht’s kitchen! Fernando arranged it. We couldn’t all fit in because it was small and no air conditioning so it was very warm! It was amazing all the delicious food he produced within such tight, hot quarters!
Our next stop was Dragon Hill on Santa Cruz Island. It was a rocky terrain. We had a dry landing for a hike which lead us to a lookout point. The sky looked threatening but we didn’t have any precipitation.
The island was very green and as we came upon the lagoon we were hoping to see flamingos. We could see their tracks in the water but they weren’t around but we were hoping to see them when we walked back to the beach.
We saw a lot of birds and iguanas!
On our way back from our hike the flamingos had arrived to eat! We saw two that were feeding in the lagoon as well as some marine iguanas floating around! They were American Flamingos.
As we were getting on the dinghy to head back to the yacht, there was a blue-footed booby.
Once we were back on board, we had our briefing with Fernando to go over tomorrow’s schedule. It’s hard to believe we only have two more days! This has been such an experience!