During the night we crossed the equator on our way to Tower Island in the Galapgos. We arrived in the early hours of the morning. I heard the anchor being dropped. Tower island is the top of a volcano, with one side collapsed so boats can enter. It is deep at 250 meters, and the sides are shear. It does not rise far above ground. The boats anchor near the beach where the water is shallower. We were up at 6.00 for our walk. The Panga took us to the far tip of the flooded volcano, where we climbed some steps. Amazing view of the sea birds sitting around. Alas unable to take any pictures, usual problem of the camera lens being steamed up. As we moved off, the lens cleared and I was able to take a few pictures of Red Footed Boobies. Rosemary spotted a Short Eared Owl in a crevasse, was able to get some reasonable pictures of it.
Stormy Petrels were flying up and down the coast. I could see thousands upon thousands. It is estimated a million live here. We did not get close to these birds.
Male Frigate-birds were displaying their red pouches looking for females. Several even flew with their inflated pouches, a risky business in windy conditions, often resulting in aviation disasters. Lots of single chicks were being reared by their parents.
Our last finch was spotted. Rather elusive, so some rather poor photo shots of the Sharp Beaked Ground Finch.
Back on board, we changed quickly for swimming. Pangas taken out to the steps which we had earlier climbed. We swam along the cliffs, I kept in close because there seemed to be little to see in the depths. On the cliff walls there were some lovely sea anonemes and urchins. Some white tipped sharks were spotted. No sea lions, but fur seals instead.
Back at the boat for lunch, and a snooze.
After noon was meant to be a trip on to shore and or some swimming. Instead we elected for a quick swim off the sailing boat and then to motor back to the airport island. A Sea Lion appeared for the swim, though it studiously kept clear of me. Other tourists were rather more lucky. Early on in the trip, before the sun set, we were able to watch a school of Dolphins swim by. There could have been at least 50 and there were jumping. We followed them for quite a long time, even heading back from where we had come from.
We were on the deck for the sen set, have some pictures of the sun going down over the sea. Not a particularly spectacular set, but clear so you could see the green flash as the sun disappeared below the horizon. Lorraine reckons she has the flash on her pictures. The Southern Cross, Orion’s belt and the Plough were in view.
After sunset we crossed the equator and had a celebratory cocktail with the crew, and stood in the captains bridge and photographed the GPS as it made zero.
Supper bell rang and we had our final good meal, well expect for tomorrows breakfast.