Published: April 9th 2011April 6th 2011
Sea Lion on Harbour bench
Other communities have stray dogs, but this place has nuisance sea lions. They´re everywhere. This one hardly moved from its cozy spot when we walked by.
I guess the custom in the cruise business is to include the day you arrive, and the day you disembark when packaging cruises. So two and a half days on the boat is a four day cruise. I will play along, and present the Galapagos trip in four blog posts.
On Tuesday, we flew from Quito to San Cristóbal Island in the Galapagos, arriving around 1pm. A short bus ride to the harbour, and we were on the boat having lunch. The boat, ´Anahi´ can accommodate sixteen passengers, but had fourteen for this tour. The small group was really nice. Throughout the trip, two zodiac dinghies were our main connection to land or other sites. When loading or unloading passengers, the zodiac driver would nudge up agains the stern of the ship and add power so that the boat would stay tight against the larger boat, allowing passengers to easily walk on/off even in rough water. Slick.
The Back of Boat (B.O.B on the daily itinerary) was a key point for all excursions. We left from here, and returned, often being served refreshments upon arrival back. Nice.
Following lunch, we went back to town for a bus ride
to ´La Loveria´ which is a beach and Sea Lion sanctuary on the other side of the island for a guided walk, swim and a chance to try out the snorkeling gear. As advertized, the wildlife in Galapagos are utterly indiferent to humans walking through their habitat. There are however a few strict but sensible rules: Don´t touch the animals or fish, stay 6 feet away from animals, and stay on the trails. The opportunities to see wildlife up close are outstanding. At La Loveria, we photographed sea lions and marine iguanas.
In 1995, during a major La Niña weather event, hundreds of sea lions left the sanctuary and decided it was nicer to live in the harbour.
After La Loveria, we had a bit of time to explore the town, and Abbey went for a swim in the harbour where some of the local kids were using a waterslide, and a sea lion was swimming around watching the fun. Then to the boat for supper, and visiting with the other passengers. During the night, the ship navigated to the next stop. Most of us found it hard to sleep when the ship was moving, the exception being
Abbey, who could sleep through anything, and Toby from Tampa, who used to be in the navy. Thankfully though, we didn´t have seasickness needing a bit of gravol on the first evening only.
A pretty good start for the trip.
There are more photos below