Courting Cormorants and White Tip Sharks

Trip Start Dec 29, 2012
Trip End Aug 15, 2013

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Flag of Ecuador  , Galápagos,
Wednesday, January 30, 2013

When we awoke in the morning, we were on the northern side of Isla Isabela, on the shores on Santiago.  Following breakfast we headed out for a morning walk.  We walked fairly slowly, saw some sea lions up close and personal and then watched some courting cormorant birds.  They were dancing around each other, the male kept bringing the female little bits of sticks and vegetation for nest offerings.   The cormorant nests are just circles in the dirt / sand.  They form a circle with twigs and grass, but they don't build them up to be nice, cosy warm spaces.  There was another cormorant couple who kept interfering with the couple in the nest.  The male would noisily squawk and chase them away periodically.  I watched them for a long time until we were told we had to get going.

We saw lots of - you guessed it - marine iguanas on this island and a geographical feature lovingly called Darwin's Toilet.  It's an outlet for ocean spray so when the waves crash in, it fills up and then empties as the tide goes out.  Caleb and Aiden stood watching this phenomenon for a long time, even declaring it was like a toilet before Javier told us it's name.  Boys and their potty humour!   On this outing we were able to see iguana teeth close up as the guides had planted a dead and dried out iguana path side for us to see.  The teeth were very sharp for scraping algae off rocks under the water.  They reminded me a little of puppy teeth because they have three parts jutting out of them. We also saw whale vertebrae that was reassembled for the tourists to see.

The crew had planned a soccer match on this island and we all wanted to go watch and cheer for our guys, but snorkelling won out and we are grateful it did as we saw white tip sharks this time.  Unfortunately, Jim's underwater camera bit the dust the previous day and so we weren't able to get any more underwater shots on this trip.  The sharks were about six feet in length and there were a couple of them under us swimming back and forth along the reef.  They darted about quite quickly!  We also swam with a few more sea lions that wanted to play.  I couldn't believe how dense some of the schools of fish were.  I swam through one so thick that I couldn't see any blue water on the other side of it. 

After snorkelling, we went back to the boat and swam around it for a while.  Giovanni, one of the engineers, was so kind to Caleb, encouraging him to jump from the sun deck.  He talked with Caleb for a long while and then to show him it was no big deal, Giovanni climbed the ladder to the very top roof and DOVE in!  Caleb was so determined it would be his turn today for jumping, that he took the plunge!   Jim went off today too, as did a few other crew members - soccer uniforms and all.  The captain almost had me convinced to jump off the second deck with him, but I was too chicken - it was still a long way down once you get up there!

We went snorkelling again after lunch at a different spot and then the boys went to the beach and for a hike while I lounged on the sun deck.  It was a beautiful sunny day with warm waters this time!  

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viajamos on

I can only imagine the sights, tastes and culture's you have already seen.
I'm still following your guy's journey and loving very moment of it.

Kelly on

Amazing. The whole trip through the Galapagos sounds like it has been phenomenal. I love the photos and am so excited when you have a new post on the blog. Wish I could be there with you so bad!

Kirk on

Hey! How do I go strait to your blog? I've only been able to find it by stumbling on Jim's facebook title for one of the blogs.

Looks like the Melbourne weather is a little weepie. Nice in Perth. Sorry the travel was sooo delayed and drawn out.

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