My Great Galapagos Trip – Day 8

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 8 of the incredible 10-day journey. If you missed the previous posts, you can start the series here.

Day 8 (Fernandina Island and Isabela Isand): Before leaving on our adventures for the day, I spent some time on the outside of the boat watching all of the wildlife around. I was lucky enough to watch the feeding patterns of storm petrels right next to the boat. With my camera in hand, I was able to capture amazing photos of these little birds who appeared to be running on the water. Now, these photos are a big deal to me because I submitted one to an international Galapagos photography contest put on by the Galapagos Conservation Trust (GCT), and it was selected as the overall winner, and it was included in their 2018 Galapagos Calendar. If you are interested, you can find it here.

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We began the morning with a hike at Espinosa Point on Fernandina Island. We hiked all along the lava rock here and were able to see a whale skeleton, countless marine iguanas, including babies, flightless cormorants, sea lions, and lava lizards.

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For me, the most exciting sight was a Galapagos snake. Since watching the Islands episode of Planet Earth II and seeing all of the Galapagos snakes chase after the baby iguanas, I had wanted to see one. Luckily, I caught a quick glimpse of one slithering into a crack in the lava rock (thanks to my group members who quickly called me over). Unfortunately, I was unable to get a good photo of this exciting creature, but the memory will always be there!

At Espinosa Point, I was also able to see my very first octopus ever! What better place to see your first octopus than in the Galapagos?!

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Just look at this beautiful Galapagos reef octopus!

The final exciting sight seen here was an adorable little lava lizard capture and eat a young sally lightfoot crab. It was awesome!

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You can see this lava lizard has captured a sally lightfoot snack!

After leaving Espinosa Point, we hopped back onto the yacht to change into swimsuits and head for Vicente Roca Point on Isabela Island. Here, we did a quick dinghy ride where we were able to see several blue-footed and Nazca boobies as well as many brown noddies and a Galapagos fur sea lion!  Getting up close to these critters was awesome!

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From the dinghy ride, we began our snorkel. It was INCREDIBLE!

My friend and I spotted a Galapagos sea lion capture and try to eat a pufferfish that was puffed up. The sea lion was having a lot of trouble tried to get the balloon-like animal into his mouth, and it was hilarious watching the struggle.

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I was also able to get up close to more feeding marine iguanas!

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A little bit further into the swim, I had the amazing opportunity to swim with Galapagos fur sea lions. Their big eyes were so cute each time they swam by us, never taking them off us!

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Once again, during this snorkel, there were more sea turtles that I could ever count, which made it a little bit difficult to move around. There was one point that I was actually surrounded by turtles in every direction, and in the process of trying to get out, I accidentally bumped one with my flipper that I couldn’t see behind me. The turtle was completely okay and not even phased by the encounter, but I felt so bad that I quickly and loudly apologized to the him under the water. It was like a dream to be surrounded by my favorite animal, but in reality, trying to get out of it was a bit of a nightmare!

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A few of the other highlights of the snorkeling today included penguins, urchins, fish, and a marbled ray.

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When we returned to the boat, we prepared for a group toast as we crossed the Equator for the second time. Following this, I went up to the roof with some friends to watch yet another gorgeous sunset.

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I ended the night by stargazing with my incredible friends. We crossed the Equator again, and we were able to see both the big dipper and the southern cross in the same sky. It was absolutely incredible. I would have loved to take some star shots, but the boat would have moved too much for anything good. Even so, it was absolutely incredible to witness!

Up next, Day 9: Santiago Island and Bartholomew Island!

Day 8

27 thoughts on “My Great Galapagos Trip – Day 8

  1. Unbound Roots

    McKenna, your photo of the storm petrel is AMAZING! As soon as your post opened and that picture popped up, I was “wowed”. Awesome! Most of the other pictures are still loading, so I will go back and look at them, but I wanted to say CONGRATULATIONS! You deserve to win first place for that photo. Stunning! *Okay, I think you get the point. Ha!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Pingback: My Great Galapagos Trip – Day 7 – Adventures Of A New Floridian

    1. It is an incredible place! Definitely worth a visit if you can ever swing one. As far as how many days to recommend, it really depends on what you are looking for. If you are wanting to join a tour group and stay on a yacht the entire time, they have set amounts of days that you can stay with them. However, I know that with permission, you can also camp on the islands. In all honesty, the more time you can spend there, the better! If you are a wildlife lover, it is a dream because the animals have no fear of humans! The snorkeling/scuba diving is INCREDIBLE if you are into that! However, it is a VERY expensive place to visit, but if you ever have the chance, I would highly recommend it! 🙂


  3. josypheen

    Gooorgeous photos again! I love all the parts of this trip!!

    I am especially impressed with your critter piccies. I would LOVE to follow in your footsteps and visit these islands! 😀

    Liked by 3 people

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