After visiting the west of the archipelago, today we visited San Cristobal Island. The island is located at the opposite end, that is, to the east of the Galapagos. Early in the morning, National Geographic Endeavour II dropped anchor in front of Punta Pitt. The volcanic scenery was spectacular, with gigantic elevations and the remains of volcanoes, silent witnesses to the island’s geological past. After breakfast, we headed to the landing beach. The greenish color of the sand contrasted with the turquoise water. Playful sea lions swam around our Zodiacs, as if giving us the official welcome to the island. Walking inland, the vegetation was completely green due to the rains that occurred days ago. This is typical during this time of year. As we moved uphill along a narrow trail, we observed mockingbirds and lizards, both endemic to San Cristobal Island. We even managed to capture the precise moment when two lava lizards were mating. In the distance, we observed many frigatebirds nesting in trees along the cliffs while others chased away the incoming boobies who tried to steal their food. We heard the unmistakably desperate sounds as they tried to escape the well-known pirates of the air.
From the top, the view was spectacular. The flat terrain made our hike easier. Some blue-footed boobies use the area for nesting; we observed several of them incubating their eggs. In bushes and trees, red-footed boobies did the same. They have a brown or white plumage and a blue bill. Their fluffy chicks were the delight of our guests. In the distance and closer to the ocean, Nazca boobies nested on the ground or on flat rocks, leaving their white guano everywhere. In the air, frigatebirds and blue-footed boobies glided like kites as they looked for fish in the immense ocean.
In the afternoon, we sailed west to arrive at “Cerro Brujo” Beach. We disembarked on the landing beach where sea lions observed us indifferently as they rested on the soft sand. We had the opportunity to relax and practice our photography skills as the afternoon light turned to sunset. We came back aboard to circumnavigate Kicker Rock, the gigantic rock in the middle of the ocean. We observed a great number of seabirds nesting on the rock and a beautiful sunset to the west. We remembered this magical week full of new friends and good memories. It will remain part of our lives forever.