From the National Geographic Islander in Galapagos

Nov 13, 2012 - National Geographic Islander

From the National Geographic Islander in Galapagos
Pacific Green Sea turtle
From the National Geographic Islander in Galapagos
Hairy Scalesia endemic to Floreana

Floreana Island

We drop anchor close to the Devil’s crown, an eroded tuff cone close to the mysterious Island of Floreana. The mist covering the shores and the cold air of the early morning placed us in the 1700’s and 1800’s when the English sailors called the islands “The Enchanted” and came looking for giant tortoises and fresh water.

Our first visit was Cormorant Point. No cormorants live here, but a boat named “the Cormorant” sank in this place years ago. We disembark early, at 6:30, because this is the best time to maybe see turtles close to the shore coming back to the water after laying their eggs. But today our expectations were more than met as we found two sea turtles on the beach, far away from the water, resting before start their way back to the sea.

We were able to see one of the most colorful birds in the archipelago at this place too - flamingos! We came back for breakfast having the great surprise of finding bottle nose dolphins during our navigation.

Due to the human activity on this island over the centuries some species have become extinct. The Galápagos National Park has been working on the restoration of the different ecosystems, and Floreana will be one of the islands we want to bring back to being as pristine as possible. We were able to see one emblematic species for this project: the Floreana mockingbird, extinct today in Floreana but a small population lives on an islet close to Floreana. Our Zodiacs took us to this islet and we were able to see our third species of mockingbird for this week.

Snorkeling was along the shores of the same islet, Champion. This is one of the highlights of the week, as sea lions came to play with us, along with stingrays and many different species of colorful fish.

This afternoon we visited the famous Post Office Bay, a barrel that has been communicating to the world since 1972. The bay offers a great place for Zodiac rides and kayaking. We enjoyed both just before coming back and having a cocktail on our sun deck, the perfect place to enjoy of the sunset!

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