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Published: June 15th 2014
Sea Lions on Deck!
Sea Lions own this place, and you need to be careful not to step on one. They particularly like narrow passages and staircases on land. This boat owner apparently didn't put up the barbed wire that many boat owners use to keep them at bay (or in bay :) )
Today’s events were a bit more low-key, but still started early. Feeling badly about constantly hounding the kids to be on time for all the outings, we gave them the option of opting out of today’s activities. Both initially insisted they would skip the morning activity to sleep in, but at the last minute decided to pull it together and join us. This pattern was repeated for the afternoon activity as well, making us feel a little bit more confident that we hadn’t been torturing them. We visited the island of San Cristobal, one of the oldest and most mature islands and home to one of the few human settlements on the islands. Unlike most of the islands, there are natural reserves of fresh water here (due to the more mature landscape’s ability to retain the rain in ponds). We landed in the town of Porto Baquerizo Moreno, passing droves of sea lions lounging on virtually every available flat spot (including some of the boats in the harbor. It is clear what rules the islands here.). A short bus ride took us to the start of a walking trail outside of town where we climbed to a view spot. Along the
Town of Porto Baquerizo Moreno
Colorful, simple beach town of about 8000. Not as large or as well developed at Porto Ayora on Santa Cruz.
way we spotted a few birds, some cactus different than those on the other islands and a monument to Darwin. After climbing to the top of a hill there were some sweeping views, but we’ve been spoiled by all the fantastic views and landscape over the last few days and these didn’t really impress. It was good to get out and walk, although John and Andrew found themselves “Landsick” – an unsettling feeling that that the ground was still swaying back and forth despite being on solid ground. We hope that doesn’t last too long. We visited an interpretation center, which gave some additional history of the islands beyond what we had learned on board during the week. A short bus ride back to town gave us a bit of time for shopping. The overpriced souvenir shops were worth a short walk. John and Andrew settled on custom-made T-shirts – a cute gimmick where you can pick out decals of various Galapagos memories and arrange them yourself onto a T-shirt style, color and size of your choice. We were back on board for lunch and then in the afternoon visited the beach at Cerro Brujo, reputed to be one of
the most beautiful in the world. It was indeed beautiful – crystal clear blue water with white coral sand framed by lava cliffs. We had only a brief orientation with a naturalist and then were free to explore and swim. The beach was populated by more sea lions who were perfectly happy to lie still for photographs and Lauren spent some time setting up a number of cute and amusing poses mimicking them. John and Andrew swam and enjoyed watching the boobies diving for fish. At one point they were floating along about 20 yards from one of them and observed it lift off, fly directly towards them about 6 feet above the water and then abruptly dive into the water no more than 6 feet away. It surfaced (without a catch) and was completely unperturbed to be so close to the swimmers. After thoroughly enjoying the beach, we were back aboard ship for cocktails and a trip around kicker rock. Kicker rock is the striking remains of volcanic tuff, just offshore of San Cristobal. Sonia snapped a few photos then enjoyed the end of the day in the hot tub with Andrew. After dinner the seas were getting rougher
than they had been and we were definitely feeling the motion. At one point in the night we turned on the light to investigate a noise which turned out to be our ice bucket, sliding back and forth across a shelf. Andrew seems to have sleep-walked to our room at night (fortunately John heard him knocking). We assumed he had some trouble that needed our attention, but proceeded to use our bathroom and then was about to walk back out to the hallway. We stopped him and asked what the problem was and he said the bathroom in his room wasn’t working. When pressed on the nature of the problem, he answered, “I can’t find the entrance”. He went back to bed and later denied any of this ever happened.
Tot: 2.12s; Tpl: 0.03s; cc: 11; qc: 28; dbt: 0.0366s; 2; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb