This day proceeded at a much more relaxing pace. For the morning activity we chose a short boat trip plus snorkeling at Isla Isabela, the largest island in Galapagos formed by the merging over time of five active volcanoes. “Over time” in this case is a relative term because Isabela and its small sister island Fernandina are by far the youngest in the archipelago.
During our boat ride near the rocky cliffs of the shoreline
we spotted lots of blue footed boobies along with Nazca boobies and frigate birds.
Then we plunged into the chilly water (68 degrees so we rented wet suits) to see what was going on beneath the surface. I took photos with a disposable underwater camera but haven't had them developed yet. Sorry. We saw beautiful fish, sea turtles, and playful seals that we were almost nose-to-nose with. A great experience.
After lunch there was time for a much needed siesta before a long hike on the lava surface of Fernandina.
Mangrove trees are well established there, making the vegetation much greener than any place we'd been so far. But the contrasting black terrain made it seem like walking on another planet.
Marine iguanas are so prevalent and blend so well with the lava that you have to watch where you’re stepping.
They’re often spotted in clusters and show absolutely no reaction to your presence.
Not so the bright red crabs on the rocks along the shore. Just like their relatives all over the globe, these critters are skittish but we still got some great photos.
Every so often a seal was lounging along the path,
and a Galapagos snake slid right across my shoe. YIKES!!
Brown pelicans and the most endemic species of the archipelago, the flightless cormorant were also in the mix.
Back to the boat for a beautiful sunset,
dinner, some stargazing, and early bedtime.