My Great Galapagos Trip – Day 7

As a recap, it has been the biggest dream of mine to go to the Galapagos Islands since I was 6 years old. I was incredibly blessed with the opportunity to do so this summer. This post will cover day 7 of the incredible 10-day journey. If you missed the previous posts, you can start the series here.

Day 7 (Isabela Island): Today was the busiest day of the trip. It was packed full with two hikes, two snorkels, and a party! My friends and I began the day early. We got up at around 5 AM to go out to the front of the boat and watch the sunrise. It was absolutely incredible. The colors were gorgeous, and the company was incredible. It will be a memory I will treasure for many years to come!

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The group’s day started at Punto Moreno. On the boat ride over, we were able to get up close to swimming Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants, frigatebirds, and marine iguanas.

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Once we got to Punto Moreno, we were able to walk along a lot of lava rock. It was here that we saw our first lava cactus! Now, I’m not one to get too excited over cactus, but lava cactus is just super cool looking!

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Within the lava rock, there were several water holes. It was amazing to see little oases within what you would expect to see barren land. In the first one we came across, there was a very large Galapagos green sea turtle swimming around. As my second favorite animal (after Galapagos tortoises), this was a really exciting site for me.

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The snorkeling was beyond incredible today. Have you ever swam with penguins?! Because I have! I was able to swim within inches of Galapagos penguins, and it was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced. These little birds had no fear whatsoever and were some of the fastest swimmers I have ever seen!

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The coolest thing seen under the water today was a flightless cormorant capture and eat a tiger snake eel. Before coming to the Galapagos, one of my big goals to see was a tiger snake eel. I think eels are extremely cool to start with, but these ones slither around in the ocean like snakes…EXTRA COOL! This was the coolest way to see my first one in the Galapagos.

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On top of the penguins, flightless cormorant, and tiger snake eel, there were also countless sea turtles in the water today as well! You know me, I can’t get over seeing these beautiful reptiles in the water!

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Speaking of reptiles, I was also blessed with the opportunity to swim with a couple of marine iguanas in the ocean as well! It’s amazing to watch them move through the water!

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On top of all of these, we saw countless fish, starfish, cormorants, and other critters!

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Following the two snorkeling trips, we took a second hiking trip to Tagus Cove. The hike itself was slightly difficult, but the views the entire way up, and especially at the top, were absolutely incredible!

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There were several critters seen, including zig-zag spiders, painted locusts, lava lizards, and mockingbirds.

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The day ended with a fantastic surprise. The incredible crew of our yacht threw the graduating class of 2017 (that includes me, y’all) a graduation party! They decorated the boat dining area with streamers, balloons, beautiful table cloths, and two amazing signs that they had done at a print shop in a previous city with all the graduate names on them. They even baked us a cake (tres leches I believe) with our names on it and did a toast for us.

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Throughout the entire trip, I was blown away by the hospitality each and every member of the crew showed us. They were all so kind and always had a smile on their face. If you plan on taking a trip to the Galapagos in the future and spend your time on a yacht, make sure to budget a good tip for these crew members, because they absolutely deserve it.

Up next, Day 8: Fernandina Island and Isabela Island

Day 7
PIN ME!

 

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73 thoughts on “My Great Galapagos Trip – Day 7

  1. Pingback: My Great Galapagos Trip – Day 6 – Adventures Of A New Floridian

  2. josypheen

    Oh my goodness! This looks amaaazing! I have always wanted to explore the Galapagos Islands, so i am really loving your photos!

    Which animal made you squeal the most when you saw it? Or were you just excited the whole time?

    Liked by 3 people

      1. josypheen

        It’s really funny just how into these experiences you get isn’t it! My husband and I saw a giant tortoise while we were swimming in Greece. Oh my goodness i got so excited! We only had one snorkel, so I’d be squealing above water (while my husband swam with it) or trying my best to keep up if it was my turn with the snorkel!

        They are super speedy in the water aren’t they!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Really amazing photos you’ve got! 😮 I’ve wanted to visit the Galapagos after learning about blue-footed boobies (and other animals) in grade school.

    I can imagine there rules to ensure preservation of the ecosystem there. Do you find you are able to roam freely, or were there areas that you absolutely could not go to?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much! We saw countless blue-footed boobies, including eggs and babies! They were really cool and adorable! Pics of them will be coming in the next posts!

      There are several rules! I was with a tour group, so for the most part, we had to stay with the group. We did get some free-time on beaches and in town where we could roam freely. We stayed the entire time on a yacht, but I know that some people camp on the islands as well. There are places, however, that you absolutely cannot go. For example, no one is allowed to visit the Wolf Volcano area of Isabela Island. This is the only known native habitat for the Galapagos pink land iguana. Most tour guides aren’t even able to go there!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: The Liebster Award 2017 | Life Through My Eyes

  5. Jamie

    The energy in your writing really helped build an amazing picture. That picture made me overlook that I was just reading about your adventure, and made me feel like I was actually living it.

    Thanks for sharing! 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: My Great Galapagos Trip – Day 7 — Adventures Of A New Floridian – Site Title

  7. Kyle

    Excellent series and blog, looks like an amazing trip! I initially noticed your “cormorant vs. eel” series. Wow that looked like a huge (and I must admit the eel had a beautiful pattern) eel the hungry cormorant caught here! You were snorkeling or something real near by? It looked like you had the perfect shots and the bird didn’t mind!

    Still, it looked like the large potential prey was putting up some fight, but the cormorant managed to swallow it whole and alive it looked like?! Was the bird okay after such an ordeal? I would think something so big (eaten live) would be quite desperate to damage (hopefully not) or even escape the bird’s stretchy/elastic throat/stomach if eaten in that condition??

    Sorry for all the questions, but it looks like a fascinating event, I have never seen something like it! 😉

    -Kyle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I love getting questions like these! Watching the cormorant devour the tiger snake eel was an extremely cool experience! Length-wise, the eel was probably between a foot and a half to two feet. I spotted it while we were snorkeling, and I was able to get right up next to it without any problems. All of the photos you see are just shots that I’ve taken from a GoPro video.

      The eel certainly put up quite a fight and managed to get away quite a few times before the cormorant managed to wrangle it. Speed definitely worked in the cormorant’s favor! The bird did, in fact, eel the eel whole and alive and was completely fine after the meal. Birds have both a crop and gizzard that help to digest food, especially when eaten whole. The crop allows for temporary storage of any food, and the gizzard grinds food and functions in mechanical breakdown prior to reaching the stomach. Because of this, the live prey is able to be broken down before entering the stomach for digestion.

      Does this answer all your questions? Never apologize for asking them! I love getting questions! Especially about such unique events! 🙂

      Like

  8. kyle

    Just stumbled across this intriguing blog again! That is quite amazing and it looks like some trip, thanks for the info too.. I’m still a little curious about the cormorant and eel battle, I must admit 🙂

    Still, its hard for me to imagine, wouldn’t the large eel be quite frantic to turn around and escape once stuck inside the neck or even fully gulped down? Does the cormorant here store that huge thing in its crop in this case and isn’t the inside of the bird presumably quite elastic/stretchy? I’ve also heard eel’s can produce a lot of slime that acts as a protective coating and makes it quite slippery!

    You look so close to the event (fantastic!) in the water. I bet that if you reached out and grabbed (not that one would of course!) the cormorant’s neck, the tiger eel would pop out to freedom haha!

    You have some other cool posts as well, keep it up! 😉

    -Kyle

    Like

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