Log Entry Start Date -
April 23, 2007
Log Entry End Date -
May 6, 2007
Santa Cruz, Isabela
Latitude: 00.44.93 S
Weather: Sunny - 85
since last entry:
530 nautical miles
| Galapagos is filled with the timeless and tame... and as visitors, an albatross over open sea is no more
surprising than birds with sky-blue feet, tortoises the size of furniture, baby sea lions underfoot and dog size iguanas that
resemble something out of Jurassic Park. The Galapagos Islands are endlessly fascinating and surprising.
The Volcanic islands, about 620 miles west of mainland Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, are millions of years old. There are 13
large islands, six smaller ones and 107 islets and rocks. Five islands are inhabited by humans.
Because the creatures of the Galapagos have never been hunted, they are unafraid of humans and sit calmly as we peer from
inches away. Land iguanas give passersby the fish eye; bull seals battle bloodily over beach territory; all the while dosing,
doe-eyed baby sea lions and their watchful mamas lounge on a peaceful beach. As we walked around the islands we spot
light-foot sally crabs, colorfully clinging to wave-washed rocks, golden rays gliding just beneath the water's surface like
spaceships, marine iguanas posing on the beaches, legs and tails entwined. Then there are the courting blue footed boobies as
they try to seduce their mate by solemnly showing off their fine blue feet, lifting first one foot, then the other.
The Galapagos islands are like a visit to another era, a universe far from the modern e-world we inhabit.
Sally Lightfoot Crab Frigate Bird Marine Iguana Land Tortoise Flamingo
There were miles of tunnels that we discovered with a
fisherman and his panga. After driving through the maze
we ventured off to walk over several arches and then
suited up in wetsuits and went swimming with the Turtles
through the maze of Lava tunnels.
The trip there was scary enough but the trip out
was beyond belief and had us thinking. . .
"This was one of the Stupidest things we have Ever Done!"
But it was Bitter Sweet; The experience with-in the Natural Aquarium was unforgettable! !
Henry - Our Guide
Volcano by Horseback
|Rock, Bartolome' Island
Sullivan Bay and Pinnacle
Isabela is the largest island in the
archipelago at 4588 sq - km, with grandeur
skyline of volcanoes, most still active.
It's a relatively recent island and consists of a chain
of five fairly young and intermittently active volcanoes,
including Volcan Sierra Negra (Santo Tomas) which
erupted in October of 2005 sending up a 20km-high
smoke column. We anchored in Puerto Villamil on
the south coast, just 18km (11miles) away from the
village of Santo Tomas. From that area in the
highlands we rented horses for the last leg of our
trek to the crater. The crater has a diameter of 10km
(6 miles), making it the second largest in the world.
The scope of the Caldera is amazing viewed from horseback - roughly 10km in
diameter, a spectacular sight. We continued on the 8km trail that leads around the
east side of the volcano to some active fumaroles. The summit is often foggy but we
were blessed with a crystal clear day.
|Impossible to capture the magnatude of
this Caldera and the contrast to the sky
and surrounding land
|Bob taking in the view of the 2nd largest in
the world - last eruption late 2005
Cabo Rosa Marine Turtle Arcadia
Santa Cruz - HIGHLANDS From the village of Bellavista, 7km north of Puerto
Ayora by road, you can turn East for about 2km to the lava tubes. These
underground tunnels are more than a mile in length and were formed by the
solidifying of the outside skin of a molten-lava flow. When the lava flow ceased,
the molten lava inside the flow kept going, emptying out the solidified skin and
thus leaving tunnels.
Panama and passed paths
again in Galapagos
Fir Seal Pelican Land Iguana Blue Footed boobies Land Iguana
We headed to shore for an unforgettable swim with the turtles in their natural sanctuary found throughout the remains of volcanic lava
tubes. It was very dangerous getting in and coming out because of the tremendous surf- we shot like a bullet through it - while sitting in
a Panga (small wooden boat with large engine). We would never do that again. When we came out, against the surf we had breaking
waves that were 5 stories tall and had to time it just right, as we zigzagged around layers of surf, but the last one, the largest broke just
as we skirted the end of the breaking wave, Henry yelling at us to "HANG ON - HANG ONNNN !!" as our Panga shot us through and out
the other side, shooting us 35feet into the air which seemed like an eternity and landed us like a rock on hard pavement, everything
flying ; cushions, cooler, and us. Once all was under control again, our guide beat his heart with his fist and screamed out "Adrenaline !"
Aside from the Very exhilarating ride in and out, the beauty on the other side was peaceful and surreal. It is called the "Tunnels"
(Tunnels formed from Lava tubes). We had great fun swimming with the turtles as we grabbed them from behind their neck as they swam
around pulling us down deep into the tunnels. These guys were huge, 4 ft long - and was one of the most exciting things we have Ever