The boat weighed anchor shortly after supper and the briefing. On deck we had a good view of the stars, but the Southern Cross was too low to be seen through the haze. A Swallow tailed gull, looking like a ghost followed us across the Pacific to Floreana Island.
In the morning we were anchored off Champion Island. An early start and onto the Pangas before sunrise at 6.00 am so we could see the Charles Mocking bird, found only on Champion Island. This version of the mocking bird is almost extinct.
Back to the Cachalote for breakfast at 7.00 and a wet landing at Cormorant point on the island of Floreana. Here we walked along a black path made of volcanic ash. The low cliffs were also very crumbly volcanic ash. On the beach were two different species of Herons, very obliging had their photographs taken. Walked to a lake where there was a lonely Flamingo. The flamingos are unable to breed due to the rat problem. The rats suck the contents of the eggs out. Was also explained how during the Turtle hatching day, (full moon) the park wardens have to throw nets over the hatched turtles to catch the rats who arrive at the same time as the hatching takes place.
Walked further on to a white beach, here we waded into the water taking Care not to tread on top of the rays. A couple of rays in the shallow water brushed up against my feet. Same time there was a small shark in the water.
Back to the first beach to clamber on board the Pangas and photo opportunity of a couple of penguins. The only penguin species who breeds naturally both North and South of the equator. They are also the second smallest penguin breed, smallest living in Australia, Selina paid this a visit this year.
Snorkelling was off Cormorant Point at the Devils Crown, an old flooded volcano. Here we saw a huge Sting Ray, sharks, usual fish, and I was with feet of Sea Lions swimming. Best Snorkelling of the week so far, clear water.
Back on two the boat to Velasca Ibarra Port. On the way we stopped at Post Office Bay to leave a post card, and picked up a couple of cards for delivery. One was to a doctor at Gonville and Caius collage, Cambridge, and the other to Sawsteon hall in Bury St Edmunds. On the boat again for lunch, soup, then beans, salad and Tuna steaks. We finished off with fruit salad and coffee.
Here we took a bus lorry up to the highlands, on the way it started to rain, but finished in the 30 minute drive up the hill. At the top we saw a place where they where there was a large enclosure for tortoises. These were from many different islands and had successfully hybridised. The park were going to try a test reintroduction of male only tortoises to see the effect on the plant life. A whimbrel was spotted, but no crates.
The return trip was on top of the bus/lorry, which I have videoed. Back on the boat for a couple of beers on deck and then the supper of chicken escalope, potatoes, diced carrots and lettuce.
Boat set sail as soon as dinner was over for a 6 hour trip, we will be up at 6 for breakfast and then an early morning walk. Hopefully some sailing tomorrow as well.
Highlights of the day were the snorkelling, the penguins, I have a picture of one swimming under water minus his head, and also the walking amongst rays on the beach.