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Saturday, August 17, 2019

Galapagos Islands Photos and Videos, Part 3

More photos and videos from the Galapagos Islands, including sea lions, marine iguanas, land iguanas, and cute little Galapagos penguins.  The last video of the sea lion mother and pup has us all laughing.

This is the view from the top of the small volcanic Bartholome Island.  In the distance is mostly lava fields and lava cones.  In the middle distance on the right is tall and sharp Pinnacle Rock.  Our guide James told us the Americans used it for artillery target practice at the time of World War II.  I'm not sure that made any real impact on how it looks though.

We found this mother and pup when we landed on Puerto Egas on Santiago island that also had the big land iguanas, herons, gulls, and the wrongly-named fur seals (they're actually a type of sea-lion.  We spent a long time hanging around with these two.  At one point, mom rolled over on her stomach, and the pup started complaining loudly and trying to nuzzle under to get more milk.  They didn't mind a group of 16 standing there watching them for quite a while.  Right there with them were pelicans, crabs, and lizards as well.  

Across from Bartholome was a fantastic, sandy beach.  We had one of our favorite experiences of the trip while we were there.  A group of four Galapagos penguins came along the beach, hunting little fish in the very, very shallow water at our feet.  They came right in front of us, and came back and forth along the beach several times.  Here are a couple short videos of them.

Here's one of the most colorful land iguanas we saw.  Land iguanas are solitary.  You never see big groups of them, like the smaller marine iguanas.  

Speaking of big groups, we walked along the beach on this part of Fernandina and saw several groups of marine iguanas sprawled out like this, literally piled on top of each other, and crawling over each others' heads and backs.  All the time pretty much silently, except when they snort out excess salty water from their noses.  It was funny to watch them do that.  It was sort of like a sudden sneeze of water rocketing out.  

Cormorants on this island have no predators.  Over time, their wings have evolved to be smaller and smaller, until they've become flightless.  Our guide said they may gradually evolve into something like penguin flippers.  We saw a few nesting couples along the beach here.  The mom stays home, incubating the eggs and fixing up the nest, while dad goes out and brings home the seaweed for the nest, as well as fish to regurgitate.  In this photo, we were lucky enough to catch the mom stand up and shuffle around just long enough to see her eggs.  

Jennifer got this great video of a mother and sea lion pup playing in the lava tubes.  This had us all laughing.  

The north end of Isabella, which is a broken volcanic caldera.  Most of the rim has collapsed under the water in the last few million years, but this part of the curved crater remains.  

This was right about the time we passed over the equator.  We all took photos of the navigation system, showing latitude of 0.000.  Pretty amazing.  The captain slowed down the boat so we could all get a look.  At first, I only got a picture as we passed up to 0.001 latitude, so he backed up the boat just enough for me to take a picture at 0.000!  See the GPS?  If you're looking at this on your darn phone, turn it sideways! 

Adios Galapagos!  

One more from our first night.  That was a spectacular one. 

This is the third in a series about our trip.  

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