Galapagos Cruise Day 6 – Morning

Sunday 30th August 2015 – Morning

We slept really well from 9.30pm until 6.45am. Brekky at 7am, awesome as every day.

Introduction to the day

Introduction to Day 6

Programme of the day

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We got our swimming suit on us and walking stuff. We got into the panga and went to Rabida island beach at 7.45am.

Here is the picture of the boat we just left.

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The other panga turning at the corner towards Rabida.

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Heading to Rabida.

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Disembarking on Rabida Island.

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We dropped our snorkling gears on the beach and took some photos.There was a sea lion playing in the water when we got there. Rabida island is a very pretty island because it has red sand and little hills of clear green trees and white trunks. It makes an amazing colour contrast with the sea.

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Sea and red sand.

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Carlos explaining more to us about the island.

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We walked nearby to a small lake which was of a greenish colour. There were three flamingos and Carlos our guide was very excited because it was the first time he was seeing flamingos in the past 5-6 years that he has been a guide. He explained that this small lake had been taken over by seals for many years who pooed, fighted and died there, contaminating the water and that there were no flamingos coming to it anymore. Even two weeks ago when he had come here with another group, they had not seen any.

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From closer, it was nice to capture the flamingos and the reflections on the water.

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Close-up on one of them, the flamingo is such a pretty bird.

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There were also some Darwin finches and some yellow wabler, male and female.
We also saw a little red bird called “a million fly catcher”. Carlos was also very excited about it because it is a
bird which is rarely seen.

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The lake colour itself was really pretty with so many variations.

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After this small lake we took a walking path and saw this really stunning landscape. Carlos had told us the night before
that this specific walk was not about seeing animals but rather appreciating the landscape of this unique island. The colors were very similar to what can be found in Western Australia, but the cactus type was different and the landscape itself much more hilly.

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Interesting moss on tree branches.

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We saw this kind of dove. We only saw it once, this time, during the entire cruise.

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There were a couple of view points from which we could admire the scenery. From one of them,
we could see the sea, one tip of the island and in front of us a type of passage with water.

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The boat seen from the shore

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Admiring the surroundings

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The surroundings

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The cliffs

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Cool cactus pausing for the photo

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Continuing on the path

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Another view point of the beach, it looks like the shape of a bird`s head.

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This combination of colors is so pretty.

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We came back where we had started and got into our snorkling gears.
Photo of us ready to go, waiting for the panga to pick us up to take us away from the beach directly into a deep water snorkle.

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I put a double wetsuit but the water was a few degrees warmer than the first days, probably 22-23 degrees instead of the usual 18-20 degrees. It was really similar to the day before so it was nice to not be cold, apart from the first few minutes which were as hard as each time and made a few of us scream. At the beginning, I spotted a sea lion and Chris was around with his go pro and made a video. There were actually two baby sea lions playing together and interacting a little bit with us too, gently. We lingered around for a while. I think I am getting better at swimming like a sea lion, which looks very funny when we watched the movie again later.
After that, we could see all types of Mexican Hogfish, the juvenile, the initial phase of adult, later phase and the adult one.
We will have got really acquainted with that specific fish! We also saw two trumpet fishes at the bottom but they are not really visible on the video Chris made. We kept cruising around and saw a few parrot fishes and the initial phase of the parrot fish. I am so glad we have a great book onboard about the fishes from the Galapagos. That`s the book I took photos of to illustrate in the previous articles. The author is Paul Humann and he did a really good job making this book! 🙂

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Suddenly, Patrick made the sign of the shark and I swam like crazy in his direction. There were two white tip reef sharks sleeping at the bottom, later a third one arrived. We called Chris and he filmed from the surface and then Patrick and me went one time each as deep as we could to film them from closer. Having to stop half-way through several time to equalise is annoying cause we loose time doing that when snorkeling down. Then the white tip sharks swam away and we lost them.
We kept cruising, a bit far from the shore, trying to spot more white tip reef sharks. Patrick spotted a mini turtle, the only one we saw during that snorkle. Earlier on, he had seen with everyone else a huge Eagle Ray cruising around in our direction, unfortunately Chris and I didn’t see it. I spotted later a marbled ray or it could be a diamond ray again.
Then our snorkling took us already closer to the beach, but I wanted to snorkle longer so I turned back and ran into Lucy who told me that she had just played with a sea lion so I swam towards Maria and Kerry.
They were playing with a baby sea lion indeed which was very very playful. The three of us were making 360 degrees loops under the water and moving our fins and arms to imitate it. We kept bumping into each other ahah as our eyes were focused on the sea lion. It was going in our direction almost touching our mask with its head and then suddenly doing an 180 degree turn. We stayed there playing with it for about 15 minutes, when we had to go back. It was such an amazing experience to play with it. We wished Chris was around to make a video of it as that was the most playful seal ever. When it was time to go, the sea lion followed us until the beach. It still wanted to play. We reluctantly grabbed our stuff on the beach and got into the panga then back to the boat.
Then shower then chilled. I flipped for the hundreds time through the reef book of the fishes, I am starting to be really familiar with all of them. It is so nice to put names on fish faces, although I still spotted in the water only about 10% of what is in the book. Then we had an awesome lunch. Food is just incredible on board. I just realised that in the Galapagos, we have three days in one day every day, and also three meals in one meal each time!


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Then it was coffee time after lunch. We even had popcorn and dried bananas this time to go with it.

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Video session time also of the videos that Chris had made during the snorkeling.

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Some were really good, especially of the two sea lions playing together at the beginning. I love love love those little movie sessions after food each time after the snorkling. And then we were exhausted and probably all retreated to have a nap. It was for me the most exhausting snorkle so far, that sea lion dragged all of my energy! We had a great rest and were then ready for our last snorkle, snif, as tomorrow we will spend the day inland searching for the Giant Tortoise on Santa Cruz island.

Off to the afternoon snorkle!