Having already been out in the Galapagos Islands for almost a week before meeting my new group at the dockside in Puerto Ayora, I felt very at ease with the sea lions and iguanas that seemed unwilling to move out of our way as we tried to board the panga sent to pick us up.
Our home for the next seven nights was the Estrella del Mar, a spacious eight-cabin boat with a wrap-around deck for maximum wildlife viewing opportunities. The Estrella has seven crew members and a bilingual, certified naturalist with an incredible knowledge of the local wildlife, vegetation and geology. The Estrella is very efficiently run, with two panga boats shuttling the 16 clients back and forth to the islands for wet and dry landings and deep water snorkel dives.
However, more importantly, the crew seem to know how to have fun and add to the trip’s overall enjoyment – their passion and enthusiasm was contagious. The camaraderie among the crew members and their overwhelming desire to please us was very easy to see, leaving me feeling relaxed.
Our cruise took us to the islands of Santa Cruz, Rábida, Santiago, Chinaman’s Hat, Fernandina, Isabela and San Cristóbal, with multiple landings or snorkelling excursions at each. The diversity of each island and each day was just incredible – you never knew what to expect next.
From such an eventful week, it is difficult to isolate just one highlight, but there were a few particularly notable moments. These included watching a group of blue-footed boobies dive-bombing for their dinner on Santiago Island, a ritual almost as mesmerising as their mating dance.
As we stood admiring the beach’s pelicans, Sally Lightfoot crabs and iguanas, we noticed a small group of boobies congregating in the sky above us. Then, all of a sudden, they dropped together like torpedoes, plunging deep into the water in search of fish. They repeated this spectacular display over and over again, barely pausing to swallow the fish they caught on the previous attempt.
Read the fourth part of this story in the next WILDFOOT blog post. In the meantime, enquire to our team now about the Galapagos adventure activities that will give you memories to last a lifetime.