Galapagos Adventure, June 2001


Galapagos Itinerary

Monday, June 4 on Floreana
AM: Punte Cormorant and Corona del Diable (Devil’s Crown), flamingos, other birds
PM: Black Beach (the home of some of the more colorful residents of the Galapagos!)
Late at "Post Office" to drop off letters.

   Monday began our weeklong routine. Up at 6AM, hearty breakfast at 6:30, into the panga to head ashore at 7:15. There were two types of landings, wet, like here on Floreana, or dry, where we climbed out on a dock. Dry landings were seldom and often more difficult than flopping off the side of the panga into the surf!
   Within a couple of minutes of the beach was a brackish lagoon full of brine shrimp and the flamingos that feed on them. The shrimp are red from the carotin in the algae they eat and the flamingos pick up the color from the shimp. Brine shrimp are incredibly hearty. They can dry out for aeons, literally, then be rejuvenated when put in brine. The flamingoes carry some on their feet when they fly to another lake and the brine shrimp can multiply to fill up a lake in a few days.
   Over a small rise was another beach with the first sea lions we saw. They lounge on the beach and swim for food. This beach is made of ground coral, which has the texture of flour.
   They too are unafraid of humans. This beach is known for rays and sea turtles, neither of which were around when we were there
   We saw lots of Galapagos mockingbirds, which you could walk right up to - or they would come over to you to check you out.
   In the afternoon, we visited black beach, home to some of the real characters who have settled in the Galapagos (or who tried to and failed.) Margaret Wittmer, matriarch of the family, only recently died, but we met her daughter and bought a copy of Margaret's book on her adventures on Floreana.
 Just before dark, we visited the "Post Office" barrel on Floreana. For hundreds of years, it's been where sailors dropped off mail and picked up mail being sent to where they were going! Too dark for pictures.

Tuesday, June 5

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