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Published: September 3rd 2011
Hola! Alicja here.
From the 8th to the 15th of August, we were on a cruise of the Galapagos.
On the first day, we were collected from the airport by a small dinghy which took us to our boat, the Cormorant. After we settled in, we were taken to explore the island of Santa Cruz. Immediately we were greeted by hundreds of marine iguanas by the dock, from the size of 3 cm to 1.5 meters! After that we went to the Darwin center- home to the worlds rarest animal, lonesome George, the last Pinta Island Tortoise. He has been attempted to breed with other tortoises, but without success.
On Monday morning we were at Espanola island. It was the most bountiful island of our trip, being the breedIng site of nearly all of the worlds albatrosses. After a 3 km hike, it was totally worth it!!! We sat on the edge of a cliff and watched the birds flawlessly soar through the air in hundreds and thousands. Then we walked a bit further and saw an awesome blowhole- a crack where water blows up from!
In the afternoon we went to a beautiful beach called Gardner bay,
a white sand beach filled with playful sea lions!!!
On Tuesday we went to the island of Santa Fe. It was filled with prickly pear cacti and lava lizards. Afterwards we went for a dive where we swam with sea lions!
In the afternoon we were at South Plaza, an island formed by lava streaming up from the bottom of the ocean. There were many flowers of outstanding beauty, including one bright red flower which populated the entire island!!!
On Wednesday, we were at North Seymour Island. That's where we saw our first blue footed booby, because the whole island was full of them!!! They were so amazingly colored that at first we didnt believe that it was natural. We also saw many beautiful frigate birds, with bright red chests that puffed out to attract females.
On Thursday we visited Fernandina. We saw the Galapagos Hawk and were delighted when we saw the flightless cormorant nesting site, with adorable fluffy chicks keeping warm with their mothers. We also saw huge land iguanas and went for a snorkel where we saw sea turtles.
On Friday we went for an awesome dinghy ride through a mangrove forest. We
spotted many turtles and Frigate birds, as well as sea lions asleep in trees- tree lions as we called them! On the way back to the boat, we spotted a hump back whale and spent the next hour following him in the dinghy, sometimes getting so close we were splashed by the water from his blowhole. Ten minutes after we finally returned to the boat, we were called on deck - the whale had followed us and proceeded to play right next to the boat for the next hour, so close that he splashed mommy at the rail when he did a flip. It was the most incredible thing we have ever seen. Later that afternoon, some of us went snorkeling amongst the giant sea turtles, and one of us even hitched a quick ride on a turtle's back- though it was not allowed....
On Saturday we were on the Island of Floreana, which had a jagged surface made of lava. Then we went for an exhilarating dive at devils crown, with amazing fish but such strong currents that it was very exhausting and not a lot of us lasted! In the afternoon we went to Post Office Bay,
a barrel 18th Century whalers used as a postbox. We picked up a letter from the Thompsons and around 50 letters to the UK!!! Then the crew from the ship had a football match in the pitch on the island. In the evening, we sadly said goodbye to the islands and ship, as it truly was the most spectacular thing we've ever seen.
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