Our ship-based exploration of Galapagos continues today with visits to Santa Cruz and Daphne Major.
Early in the morning we anchored at Dragon Hill, located on northwestern Santa Cruz Island, and explored a trail that runs through an arid forest of prickly pear cactus and palo santo trees. We spotted many land birds and learned how finches and mockingbirds adapted to the several microclimates on the island. Many land iguanas were found at the intertidal zone, as well as herons and other sea birds diving in the turquoise bay.
Afterward, we headed to an eroded tuff cone located in open sea, off the coast of Santa Cruz, for some deep-water snorkeling, accompanied by Galápagos sea lions and many fish. The underwater vertical wall of the islet was impressive, featuring tons of mollusks and different kinds of coral, sea fans, and sea stars. We felt we were in a Jacques Cousteau documentary.
In the afternoon, we organized a kayaking excursion and Zodiac rides—even Zodiac driving lessons for our younger explorers. The northern coast of Borrero Bay Islet was the best place for these activities. We finished our day with a sunset cocktail while our ship circumnavigated Daphne Major Islet. Another day in paradise!