After our traditional fruit drink aboard the boat we donned wetsuits and went snorkelling. The water was very, very cold here! The current was a little strong too, and the visibility not that great. Needless to say we didn't see much, but it was great to be out swimming anyway!
During lunch the Cormorant moved over to Fernandina Island.
Here we also went on a panga ride, exploring the mangroves. Many interesting animals can be seen in the mangroves. They have no fear of humans and explore quite close to you. This is where we found the elusive Galapagos "tree lion". A joke when the sea lions climb onto the lower branches of the trees. We also saw many rays, turtles and white tip sharks lurking under the mangroves. This was the first area that we saw the Galapagos penguins standing on the shore. They were really fun to watch waddling around and slipping into the water. We also saw a blue-footed boobie feeding frenzy. They dive into the water at very fast speeds to spear their prey and Javier told us that the amount of birds we saw feeding that day was very unusual. They do tend to feed in groups though, taking turns distracting and catching the fish. We didn't get out of the pangas here, but the boys drove the pangas back to the ship.
The next day for our snorkelling adventure, the water was still quite cold. We were near Fernandina Island and this was our first encounter with the seal lions in the water.
They were really playful and a little frightening as they swam really quickly and very close, enticing you to make somersaults and blow bubbles with them. Although we didn't see them until near the end of our snorkel and many people had already climbed aboard the panga, the boys included, at the first sighting, almost everyone jumped back into the cold water. The seal lions didn't lose interest in us and a third larger one joined in the play. This was the highlight of the day to say the least - a close second was the lobster we had for dinner!
During the night, the Cormorant was on the move again, navigating around Isla Islabela to Elizabeth Bay - which probably has at least two different names. Places in the Galapagos tend to have two or three different names, depending on the explorers who "discovered" the place and then they have an English and Spanish name too. It was a little difficult therefore to keep track of where we were and where we were going. At Elizabeth Bay we hopped on the panga boats and explored a little around the mangroves. We then walked around the lava shoreline with the five volcanoes on Isabela in the background.