14 May 2012 | 00 44.817'S:90 18.541'W, Puerto Ayora, Academy Bay, Santa Cruz, Galapagos, Ecuador
So, we've been here a week. The town of Puerto Ayora is a fairly bustling little tourist town. Lots of restaurants, bars and shops. And the harbor is a swell filled sloppy ride at anchor, with a lot of tourist boats. Much to avoid, ha ha. But once you get out side of the town and harbor, it is the magic of the galapagos. Beautiful scenery, and amazing wild life. So far we have see lots of sea lions, lava lizards, marine iguanas, land iguanas, pelicans, boobies, frigates, penguins, finches and other birds of many varieties, and of course giant tortoises. It is well worth coming here, but it really sucks to have our boat stuck in one lousy anchorage while paying to ride on crummy tourist boats! Around town we have also had the pleasure of visitng the Darwind tortoise breeding center--home of lonesome george. You should look him up on the internet. The picture is not of lonesome george, because my pictures of him were lousy. The breeding program has been very success ful
Our first day trip was to the Island of North Seymour which is just north of Santa Cruz--where we saw Frigates and Blue Footed Boobies nesting. Many baby birds as well as lots of marine iguanas, land iguanas, and sally lightfoot crabs. They were all tame enough to walk right up to them (except for the crabs). On each trip you are accompanied by a naturalist who tells you everything you would want to know about the wild life, and about the geology and geography of the islands. Very educational for the kids. Although we got very close to the birds, the Naturalist suggested that we don't touch them for fear of generating a fear of humans in them. Its quite amazing to walk up to a huge frigate bird sitting on a nest and have it just more or less look at you curiously.
After North Seymour we went snorkeling and saw a couple of white tipped sharks and loads of tropical fish. The fish were interestingly very similar to fish we have seen elsewhere in the tropics, but with differences in colors or patterns or size.
Then after lunch we went to the small island of Mosquera, which is more or less a large sandy spit with some rocky parts. It was covered with Sea Lions. We spent a couple of hours watching them sun bathe and play in the waves. It is also breeding time for the sea lions so we saw lots of babies and juveniles. The juveniles were especially frisky and curious. Our naturalist had us sit on the sand and wait, and very soon a whole gang of little guys came up to sniff everyone. When they sniff they put their noses right on you. One even decided to take a little taste of Rivers, and actually left a tooth mark on one of her toes!