Isla Espanola

Trip Start Apr 03, 2008
Trip End Apr 27, 2008

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Flag of Ecuador  , Galapagos Islands,
Thursday, April 17, 2008

During the night we had traveled to Isla Espanola.  We started the day with 5:30 wake-up, 6 breakfast and 6:30 zodiacs to Punta Suarez.  We shared the bay with a small boat as well as a cruise ship carrying 110 passengers.  We beat the cruise ship to shore, but the little ship beat us - they had gotten up at 5 AM to get the jump on us!

This was a terrific hike.  Right away on the beach we had dozens and dozens of sea lions, an equal number of Christmas iguanas (colored red and green) and small quick lizards.  During the 3 hour boulder hike we saw more of the usual animals - all 3 boobies, a hawk, finches and pelicans.  The big deal about this island, however, were the Albatross.  There were dozens in one open plateau.  We saw them either alone or in pairs, clacking beaks or mating.  In flight they are beautiful, graceful and commanding.

At 9:45 we went back to the boat and took it around to Isla Gardner.  Lunch was fish and a strange square of spinach mush.  I would have preferred a peanut butter sandwich but they only serve peanut butter at breakfast.  All the food here is so fancy.  I'm looking forward to returning to simpler food - like a bean burrito and an apple.  Meat is served at every meal - even breakfast.  If the meat is mammal they make a vegetarian, chicken or fish option for Jeff and I.  We are the only ones with a special diet request.

After lunch Jeff and I took the kayak out and had fun with a seal pup.  Then it was time for snorkeling; 1.5 hours around the point.  It was mostly the same fish but added a flying fish with purple wings.  The water was uncomfortably cool and I was the first one out of the water.

After that, most of the cast (as in cast and crew) went to the beach.  Jeff and I stayed behind along with Bill, Elaine and Ben.  Jeff enjoys talking with Ben so it was good for them to hang out together for a while.

I'm surprised at how well this cast gets along.  There are people I really love spending time with, but everyone is good.  Some of us had a couple of glasses of wine at dinner and therefore a bit more fun than usual.  That included Simon (who talks like Hugh Grant).  He is usually difficult to hear; holds back, but after the wine he loosened up beautifully.  His wife, Agnieszka, suffers from sea sickness so since we often travel in the evening, she is often in her cabin during lectures. 
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