From Genovesa to Fernadina Island about 1/2 the passengers chose (either of their own will or not) to attend dinner on Monday night. Most weren’t there due to a stomach problem caused by the waves of the boat.
In the morning we woke up to a beautiful lava landscape of Fernadina, the youngest of the Galapagos Islands(on the left of the big sea-horse looking island which is Isabela), which recently erupted in April of 2009. There are no human settlements on Fernadina Island like Genovesa. We disembarked on our 2nd “dry” landing, although a wrong step could make it a wet landing, as the lava is underwater during high tide and is a bit slippery in the mornings. Unfortunately, I was the 1st to disembark the dingy to the island (I was fervently praying to not eat lava that morning). Everything went fine, no one had an acrobatic landing. (Luckily!) After arriving and getting a steady foot on the cooled but slippery lava, we began to notice the wildlife and not our feet. We saw marine iguanas, fish, and an octopus in a small tide pool/bay. It was exciting to see the octopus, quiet small of course so close and in the wild (and while not wearing a wet suit!). On this expedition, Janet and I went in one group with Pepe and Steve, Salem and Travis with Orlando. Our splitting up into different groups was never intentional but all about who got on what dingy boat. It was nice to come back together and “compare notes” and wildlife sightings and photos. The photo to the right is of the Volcano with the pool and an iguana swimming. The vegetation on Fernadina is primarily, mangroves and lava cactus. (We didn’t get an in-depth vegetation lecture from our guides, however I would have found it quiet interesting) We then had to watch our feet for Marine Iguanas. In the morning they are a little slow due to the cold-blooded nature of reptiles but tend to speed up as the day wears on. We saw iguanas from a couple of inches, babies, to a couple of feet long but no bigger than probably 2′-6″. Of course the largest were the males. These guys are gross but I am not a fan of reptiles. They lay around and use the bathroom where ever they are (by the way it is LIME green too, ew).
(Notice how far I am…thats cause they desalinate the water and spit the salt out…ew!)
They didn’t really mind us too much and if we got to close they would get out of our way. This island wasn’t full of land wildlife but had some flightless birds, and of course iguanas. We saw more wildlife in the water from the island than actually on the island. I really liked Fernadina, even with its lack of really cool blue and red footed boobies. The geology and landscape made this an awesome tropical island. On our way back to the dingy boats we did get to see a Sting Ray in the small bay/tidal pool…(below)
Pretty neat huh? This little pool was an exciting little eco system, lots of wildlife; marine iguanas, octopus, fish, sting ray and at another spot on the island we saw a pool with 4-5 sea turtles.
Look for a post on our afternoon adventure off the island of Isabela by Travis this week!