Isla Seymore contains a fulsomeness of frigates, a largess of lizards, a smattering of sea lions, but no bounty of boobies. Found a few of that fowl clinging to a cliff, but pictures are particularly poopy. Photoshop follows. It's probably OK, though, based on rumor that if you've seen two you've seen 'em all. Did sight a number of blue-foots (blue-feet?.. no) awing, but color isn't possible to observe thus.
Back at north shore of Santa Cruz, while others debarked on a(n) horsefly infested beach, sailors, having experienced a surfeit of biting bugs and sand (sand did not bite - sorry for any confusion), remained aboard with beer. Lingerers did miss closer view of flamingos, which must eat lots of whatever it is that creates the color, because they were brilliant, and large red crabs sunning on black lava rock.
Second day ended as first at The Rock restaurant among friends with good food and a libation, possibly two, of choice, succeeded by inescapable, when available, ice cream.
Ferry from San Cristobal to Santa Cruz with Inspiration Ladys was minimally uncomfortable as one of 25 sardines in a very small cruiser. The three 200 HP outboards whisked us to destination in a scant two hours with only two riders heaving over the side. Cuisine was scrumptious crackers and a cup of Coke from a friendly steward balancing all while pouring and serving.
Hotel Darwin was first seen, by accident, on a side street and was at perfect level of evolution from cheap hostel to expensive four star. Puerto Ayora, catering to tourists, is an island Santa Fe, with artsy-fartsy everywhere. Twice Puerto Baquerizo at 12 thousand, it's still a fun place.
After late breakfast in Puerto Ayora caught a taxi to see more tortoises, biggest yet, but really, the law of diminishing returns had set in and we had just seen enough turtles. In same area Gary and I crawled through a lava tube while claustrophobic Jackie met us with driver at exit to help clean off accumulated mud. Shouldn't a lava tube be full of lava?
Met Bristol Roses and John from "JC" for dinner and obligatory ice cream.
No internet or SSB, so will accumulate this nonsense for mass dump upon return to Wreck Bay.
Good diving. Water clarity didn't suck, but could have been better. Haven't looked at stills and video, waiting for camera case to dry, but anticipate the odd decent shot.
Should have terrific film of several juvenile sea lions cavorting around at initial, equipment checkout/snorkel stop (great fun, but mostly designed to weed out knuckle-heads prior to moderately difficult dives).
Ran through gap between spires on first dive at Kicker Rock, then around outside wall of smaller on second. Borrowed 5 mil full wetsuit to fend off third degree goose bumps in nippy water. Not much coral, but a ton of turtles, fish, white tip, black tip and Galapagos sharks, sting rays and flights of big spotted eagles. No hammerheads. No whale shark. Primary purpose of beautiful beach stop on return was to feed horseflies. Pictures will arrive blog by and by.
Would have sailed, tomorrow, to Puerto Ayora with Bristol Rose but agent snafu delayed their zarpe (departure permit) until, at least, after 0700 ferry. Dinero for Monday tour to Isla Seymore (nesting birds like frigates and, yes Cal, boobies) has been plunked. Darwin Research Center, lava tubes and other delights await Tuesday morning prior to return ferry at 1400.
Probability of boat being ready to depart at end of week for Marquesas with other reprobates, insignificantly above zero.
Sea Lions, See
Rainy morning; beautiful, clear, windy afternoon. Appreciate 20 day limit for cruisers who stop over en route to Marquesas. Temptation to hang around would keep many here. Friendly people, interesting town, inexpensive restaurants, unique wildlife, world class diving and snorkeling, sea lions littering the waterfront, good surfing breaks either side of harbor entrance and, of course, blue footed boobies. Does that mean that their feet are sad or that only ambulatory birds are? (OK, it's a stretch, but work for it)
Peruvian band on shore is playing "Sounds of Silence" with traditional instruments. It's quite good.
After varnishing, lost all initiative for additional fruitfulness. Besides taking and retrieving laundry ($1 a kilo), eating, drinking and reading have suffused the day. Surely there's at least a semi-deadly sin in there somewhere. OK, also worked on adding pictures to the blog when internet was intermittently up, but fear words such as 'useful' and 'productive' are not appropriately associated with that activity.
Just don't have anything worth a chuckle tonight. Perhaps by tomorrow the muse of foolish nonsense (pretty sure her name is Bambi) will slap me up side the head with the magic zucchini (although fairies have remained with wands, most former stick bearers have gone to something with more heft) of inspiration. Hope it's not too painful.
Finished teak caprail, went to shore for an American style breakfast and, later, got run over by a large boat. Normal day in paradise. In order: looks good, tasted good and !@#$%^&*()_+. Inattentive and judgment challenged crew allowed small cruise ship to drag down on Inspiration Lady, just missing, then me, just hitting. No damage, so a rollicking good time was had by all.
After less than two weeks since cleaning, waterline looked like Bubba Whartz's "Right Guard" (Latitudes & Attitudes Magazine), but was, at least mostly, barnacle free. Long green tendrils come off anti-fouling OK, but on boot-stripe, nuclear weapons wouldn't be overkill. Little buddy sea lions didn't show during scrubbing. Will check equipment for Saturday dive by brushing off fur below waterline tomorrow.
Jacksters and I will scuba at Kicker Rock while others snorkel with high expectation of seeing, among many other things, white tip, black tip and hammerhead sharks. Plan Sunday sail to Santa Cruz on "Bristol Rose", who have autografo allowing it, with Monday tour of Isla Seymore. Major attraction are blue-footed boobies. Of course, top-selling items appear to have various ways of saying "I Love Boobies". Tasteless T-shirts invade Galapagos - make mine an extra large, por favor. Return to boat on Wednesday and depart for Marquesas, possibly, the weekend.
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno
Friends provided bad influence, forcing late dinner, then two desserts at different places. Surprised at level of evening activity. For a small town (whole island has six thousand residents) businesses have a long night. This place now on record as new favorite place on the planet, displacing old NFPP.
Day went close to planned including standard over-optimistic expectation - didn't snorkel, didn't quite finish second varnish coat and rum became beer, but not bad. May, he said confidently, finish second coat and sand for final tomorrow. Hoping to snorkel midday.
Two juvenile sea lions have adopted the boat as their proprietary playground. Hope their rubbing against hull is removing soft growth. The cavorting often splashes water on brightwork for which they display no apparent remorse. Like with teenagers everywhere, efforts at reason have proven futile. Also typically, youngsters frolic and oldsters grumble - all night.
Pretty bland, but long day, short night. Tah.