Sunday was fun day in Galapagos! We woke up anchored at the island of Española, next to a site called Gardner Bay. In these aquamarine waters, we had the opportunity to try our first snorkeling excursion. Some went to deeper waters, and others refreshed their snorkeling skills off the shore of a magnificent white sandy beach. Sea lions where a highlight of the morning. Having them, bellies up, resting, posing, playing with our snorkel gear and nursing was fantastic.
Back onboard, we enjoyed a nice shower and then lunch from the Andes, with several types of potatoes, quinoa, avocado and rice pudding to recover the energy that we needed for the afternoon. First, we went to the lounge to meet Juan Carlos, our Photo Instructor, who gave us great composition tips so that we could get the best pictures of the unique wildlife of Española.
Española can be considered one of the most beautiful islands of the Galapagos, and our hike of the afternoon certainly showed this. We could not have asked for more. Marine iguanas snorting out the sea salt, basking showing their Christmas breeding colors: red and green. Sea lions of all sizes and moods, Española lava lizards running under our feet, bright red Sally Lightfoot crabs eating the remaining of a dead iguana, while dodging hunting herons. Nazca boobies courting, with eggs, or day-old chicks. Albatross of course stole our heart, with their complex courtship dance steps, chubby chicks with funny hairstyles, and their majestic soaring flight. What a great feeling, to walk among all these animals being nothing more than a creature with silly behaviors, pointing cameras at them.
Back onboard, we relaxed and met back in the lounge at evening, with a well-deserved drink sharing our experiences of the day with fellow travelers and learning from our expedition leader, Gaby, what awaits us tomorrow.