Bookmark and Share
More Galapagos wildlife

Had an amazing day yesterday; we walked along to a beach called 'La Loberia'- ie 'Sealion Beach'. I've got a 'Guide to Galapagos Wildlife' card with pictures of the birds,fishes and animals one is likely to see here, its got tick boxes for when you spot them- bit like the 'I-Spy' books from my past-I was in a frenzy of 'ticking'!
As we were walking along the trail to the beach, there was a sign saying' spot the tracks in the sand- it's the marine iguanas going to and from the rocks'- and sure enough we followed some tracks and there were 2 huge iguanas stomping off towards the bushes. At the beach itself there was the usual collection of sealions, but it seemed to be a nursery because there were more than the usual number of very small pups and nursing mothers. Into the sea for a snorkel- just the most amazing amount of fish including: grouper, Streamer Hogfish (huge!), Blue-chin parrotfish, sergeant majors, white and yellow tailed damselfish, grunts, razor surgeonfish, moorish idols, King Angelfish, Hawkfis, Blennys, and huge shoals of both big fish and tiny little ones- so many you could hardly see where you were going. Most special of all was an enormous turtle about 4-5 foot in length- fantastic.
The sealions were pretty laidback here- at a different place called Cerro Tijeretas the young sealions seemed to like playing 'tag' with you- they would swim right up to you so you could almost touch them- then just as you reached out a hand they would wheel away but never too far, looking back the whole time as if to say 'can't catch me- your'e 'IT'.... great fun.
After our swim I went for a walk further up the beach and onto a footpath through the rocks and bushes- I had bare feet, but none of the sticks seemed too prickly- in fact I was just admiring the smooth curviness of one stick I was about to tread on when it wriggled and slithered away- tick the box for 'galapagos snake'! (luckily not venomous). There was the usual collection of lava lizards, carpenter bees, (all black, no yellow), Sulphur butterflies, crabs- both 'Sally Lightfoot' and land hermit crabs; dragonflies, painted locusts, many finches and Yellow warblers. New bird 'spots' were a male frigate bird showing his bright red throat, an American oystercatcheer and a striated heron. There were a fair number of Boobies as well; the blue-footed boobies really do have the most brilliant big startlingly blue feet, they make you laugh out loud- they're a bit like clowns with oversized bright blue shoes on. There were more iguanas on the rocks- including one I got very close too to get some photos- until it spat loudly and violently in 3 directions- it's only salt water but quite an effective deterrent! They really are stunningly ugly, I think I read Darwin called them 'imps from hell'- anyway they resemble bad-tempered punks with mohican haircuts. I think they're great!

Birds, whales, dolphins, seals
05/13/2012, San Cristobal, Galapagos

Loving it here in the Galapagos Islands. The passage here was one of the most interesting so far- such a variety of weather conditions, wildlife. and incidents.
We had 2 visitors on the boat- one a HUGE moth about 4 inches long, and the other was 'Fluffy', a juvenile red footed Booby bird who perched on our pullpit (the rail round our bow) for long periods on 3 or 4 days. We also saw frigate birds bullying terns; turtles, some small whales, and 2 different sorts of dolphins- a group of 4 big dolphins swam near us for ages, rolling over on their sides to look at us, then rolling back and slapping their tails on the water so we got splashed. The other group were smaller, they whizzed up to us, did a load of acrobatics, then whizzed off- and that was when we saw the whales; we are always a bit worried when we see whales because there have been incidents of whales sinking yachts- but these were small, and seemed to be minding their own business and not interested in us at all- thankfully!
I might give up fishing. In 8000 miles I've only cuaght and landed 2 fish. On the passage here I caught 3 things- first a seabird that spotted a shiny new lure of mine and dived to catch it- it was awful towing the poor thing behind the boat, so I pulled it on, onto the deck, threw a towel over it then managed to get the hook out of it's beak- and off it flew. Second was the marlin- I was down below and heard a huge bang- I thought something major had broken on the boat. Got on deck just in time to see an enormous marlin jumping out of the water, arching it's back, classic; thankfully the line had snapped near the boat becuase there's no way I could have landed it yet alone 'dealt' with it on board! Third thing I caught was- the line around our propellor... we had been tacking back and forth, trying to get a sensible direction to sail in after a squall had spun us round the wrong way, when I heard a strange humming sound- the fishing line was tight under the boat and when Kevin looked the propshaft wasn't spinning freely. Kevin had the good idea of turning the propshaft backwards by hand as I carefully pulled on the line- thankfully it worked and most of it unravelled before it snapped. When we got into harbour the firstt thing I did was dive down to see if the rest was still wrapped round the propellor- but thankfully it was clear, as is the water here- and an amazing amount of huge fish were swimming round the boat eating up the goose barnacles that seemed to have sprouted overnight. Then Kevin called me to get back on the boat quick- he'd seen some 'fins' in the water he didn't like the loook of- but it turned out it was just sealions. They're everywhere here- they lie about all over the harbour steps and on the park benches just like a bunch of dossers. They try and get on your boat; thankfully there is a water taxi so you dont have to eject 'visitors' from your dinghy when you go ashore.

Galapagos Arrival Friday 11th

Landfall in Galapagos. Yesterday we crossed the equator, today we made landfall, 12 days at sea.
We are very excited to be here so much history is associated with these islands.
We have anchored in Wreck bay, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. The capital. There are big fish in the water, all round the boat,
dolphins playing nearby and sea lions lounging on the quayside, marvellous. We are both looking forward to seeing the big tortoise,
that is if he is not hibernating in a big cardboard box with holes in the airing cupboard.
Meanwhile we are about to get a water taxi ashore to find a cold one.

A Passage to Galapagos Tuesday 8th

All is well aboard. Pip caught a Marlin which broke the line. Yesterday we got hit by a big squall which turned the boat 180 degrees within a few secondswith no warning. We are now on a beam reach at 5 knots towards destination. Pip has cooked eggs beans and fried potatoes for breakfast. Kev

A Passage to Galapagos Saturday 5th

All is well aboard. We are beating to windward! The first time since the English channel, we had nearly forgotten whatit is like. Weather is warm and fine. We saw a huge turtle yesterday and many dolphins.Kev

A Passage to Galapagos Wednesday 2nd

A good passage so far all is well. Hot and no wind today and we are making 2knots sailing downwind with full main and full poled out genoa wing and wing. May have to put the engine on if wind does not pick up soon. Interesting Monday night full cloud cover and sailing through an electrical storm, sheet lighteningand thunder constantly for 2-3 hours. We were a bit concerned and put our backup electronics in the oven to protect it in case,we were struck (Faraday cage effect). We both spent most of it down below, although it was spectacular if not a little frightening.We have seen some pelicans whales and dolphins, and sharks so far on this trip. Pip accidently caught a seabird on her fishing lure but bravely saved it by removing the hook from its beak.Kev

Newer ]  |  [ Older ]


Powered by SailBlogs