Day Six found us awaking off the beautiful island of Floreana. Before breakfast, we took a serene cruise of Post Office Bay where we were joined by our ever-present Galapagos friends – the sea lions, the sally crabs and the marine iguanas.
After breakfast, we landed and learned just how Post Office Bay got its name. In the 1800s, whaling ships kept a wooden barrel on the shore. As other ships stopped for fresh water, they would pick up letters to be delivered back home (wherever that was), and leave letters to be delivered to other destinations. The system is still in use today, although it is now tourists who deliver letters by hand rather than sailors.
The island also has a lava tube (read: underground cave) with enough water to swim in. (For the uninitiated, cave water is cold cold cold!) Fortunately, the snorkeling in the sea was much warmer. AND we were treated to an encounter with a sea turtle.
In the afternoon, we took the zodiac out to Devil’s crown – a rocky outcropping in the middle of the open sea – for some more snorkeling. The water was choppy, and the current was very strong. You simply had to swim with it. Otherwise, you’d use all your energy and get nowhere (except maybe backwards). On the leeward side (that means sheltered from the current, for all you landlubbers), the water was calmer, and we saw another shark. It turns out that he’s a better swimmer than me, and so wouldn’t hold still for a photo. (I blame the strong current.)
We also took to the land once again to explore some of the local wildlife. We came upon a pair of Blue-Footed Boobies where the male was doing the famous mating dance for which this species is known. He lifts one foot and then the other. It almost looks like a person trying to walk in diving fins.
On Day Seven, we went to yet another Island – Espanola. It was here that Stephanie was banned from taking sea lion photos (by me) after she took about 17,000 of them. In her defense, they are really cute – like puppies. When Stephanie would crouch down to take photos, sometimes the babies would waddle right up to her and look at her expectantly. Our guide admitted yes he used to pet them, and they love it. Stephanie was close to tears every time a pup came up to her and she had to explain that she *wanted* to pet it, but wasn’t allowed. In addition to a giant colony of Masked Boobies, we also got to watch a blowhole erupt with the tide.
We stopped at yet another beautiful, deserted beach, and just drank it all in. Except for lack of necessities like food, human contact and broadband internet, Espanola is almost enough to make one turn one’s back on the civilized world, and just live on an island.
In the Galapagos, another day means more snorkeling, and our shark friend AND our lobster friend returned for their photo ops. Yay!
On our last day, we stopped at a tiny, tiny island called Isla Lobos. Given that we were finished with our excursion and disembarking the ship by 9:30am, I think they only threw this one in so they could say we went somewhere on our last day. Our pre-breakfast hike was nothing we hadn’t seen before, but the real treat was the morning snorkel. A curious sea lion decided to join us in the water. We found the more we would dive down, the more he would twirl all around us playing with us. This was one of those times when you just don’t want to get out of the pool, and it made our whole last cruise day worthwhile.