Once we transferred from San Cristobal to our boat the ‘Monserrat’ we settled into our cabins then familiarised ourselves with the boat and its safety facilities and processes.

Then we set off to visit some other locations along San Cristobal Island coast.

During our stay on the boat we would visit various locations where we snorkelled, walked the beaches and/or islands, witnessed various creatures in their natural inhabit on these islands. They include animals only found in the Galapagos Islands such as the Galapagos Flamingo, Galapagos Penguins, Darwin’s Finches, Marine Iguanas, and more.

The Galápagos Islands (official name: Archipiélago de Colón, other Spanish name: Las Islas Galápagos, Spanish pronunciation: ([las ‘isla ya’lapayos], local pronunciation: [laz ‘ihlah ya’lapayoh]), part of the Republic of Ecuador, are an archipelago of volcanic islands distributed on either side of the equator in the Pacific Ocean surrounding the centre of the Western Hemisphere, 906 km (563 mi) west of continental Ecuador. The islands are known for their large number of endemic species and were studied by Charles Darwin during the second voyage of HMS Beagle. His observations and collections contributed to the inception of Darwin’s theory of evolution of by means of natural selection.
The Galápagos Islands and their surrounding waters form the Galapagos Province of Ecuador, the Galapagos National Park, and the Galapagos Marine Reserve. The principal language on the islands is Spanish. The islands have a population of slightly over 25,000.
The first recorded visit to the islands happened by chance in 1535, when Fray Tomas de Berglanga, the Bishop of Panama, was surprised with this undiscovered land during a voyage to Peru to arbitrate in a dispute between Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almago. De Berlanga eventually returned to the Spanish Empire and described the conditions of the islands and the animals that inhabited them. The group of islands was shown and named in Abraham Ortelius’s atlas published in 1570. The first crude map of the islands was made in 1684 by the buccaneer Ambrose Cowley, who named the individual islands after some of his fellow pirates or after British royalty and noblemen. These names were used in the authoritative navigation charts of the islands prepared during the Beagle survey under captain Robert FitzRoy, and in Darwin’s popular book The Voyage of the Beagle. The new Republic of Ecuador took the islands from Spanish ownership in 1832, and subsequently gave them official Spanish names. The older names remained in use in English-language publications, including Herman Melville’s The Encantadas of 1854. (Wikipedia)

I will display the following photo’s by type/activity/animal rather than chronological order in most cases.
Snorkelling:

Galapagos Shark:

Stingrays, located at the waters edge:

Turtles, they liked to play in the surf:

Turtle tracks in the sand dunes to/from a nest.
Turtle nests located in the dunes.

After exploring San Cristobal Island coast, we returned to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and anchored in the bay for the night, before heading to the other islands on our itinerary.

San Cristobal town, from our anchor point:

Over the next few days, we would be visiting other islands such as Espanola, Floreana and finally to Santa Cruz for our return flight to the mainland.

Next morning, we set off to see more of the Galapagos animals and endemic species.
As we sailed out of the bay, we could see this rock island in the distance called ‘Boot Island’.


When we closed-in on this rock it turned out to be two individual rocks.

Galapagos Sea Loins:


Sally Lightfoot Crabs or Red Rock Crab:

Hermit Crabs:


Galapagos Marine Iguanas:


Galapagos Pink Land Iguana:


Galapagos Lava Lizard:

Painted Locust:


Galapagos (Giant) Tortoise:


Galapagos Finch or Darwin’s Finch:


Swallow Tail Gull:


Magnificent Frigate:


Lava Heron:


Galapagos Dove:


Nazcar Booby:


Galapagos Flamingo:


Mocking Bird:


Galapagos Hawk:


Common Egret:


Galapagos Flycatcher:


Oystercatcher:


Galapagos Waved Albatross:


Blue Footed Booby:

Along the coast of Floreana Island, there is a Bay called ‘Post Office Bay’. In this bay not far from the beach is what is called a ‘Post Office’. You can leave letters and post cards addressed to someone or even yourself here. People look through the mail left there and take them to be mailed or hand delivered at a later time. We picked up two that had Calgary addresses on them and will hand delivered to them.

We managed to see most of the creatures that we wanted to see except for the Galapagos Penguins, this was not too much of a disappointment as we had already seen Humboldt Penguins in Peru.

There were a couple of nice sunsets while on the boat.


After our time amongst these islands we headed to our last island which was Santa Cruz, this is where we would fly back to Quito from.

Next: Journey to the Middle of the World.

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