The itineraries for the day seem to follow this trend. Land tour + snorkel/swim session in the morning, then hop onto the boat for lunch while the captain sails to an alternate location, do another land tour + snorkel/swim session in afternoon.
In the morning, we visited Fernandina, one of the youngest islands in the Galapagos at around 100,000 years, formed by a volcanic eruption. The predominant wildlife we saw today was….marine iguanas. They were EVERYWHERE. On the rocks, on the beach, in the sand, and sometimes chilling in the middle of your path. We almost stepped on a few as their camouflage is amazing in the dark volcanic rocks. It was pretty fun just sitting around staring at them, as they’re completely unphased by people’s presence, and they just lie in stacks, and occasionally spitting out some snot. That’s how they get rid of all the salt they ingested when they eat algae underwater, so if you imagine like 80 iguanas just taking turns shooting snot, it was gross but sorta funny.
After a bit of snorkeling in some cold waters with not so great visibility, we were back on the boat for lunch.
Next island, we beached onto a black sand beach which was really cool looking. We took a long walk around and saw quite a bit of wildlife. This time the land iguanas and hermit crabs were the most abundant, and we also saw several giant tortoises and a really cool looking Galapagos hawk!! Land iguanas are not the same as marine iguanas as they can only stay on land (brilliant name!), and they are also yellow and much much fatter! One giant tortoise was walking in our direction on the path, and we just waited there until he got about 1m from the guide and suddenly ‘felt’ us there, made this strange “Uhhhh” sound and retreated into his massive shell. SO FUNNY! These guys are really interesting, and are able to live into time immemorial. We saw one just grazing for some poisonous apples (it helps the tortoise’ digestion, but kills humans) about 3m from the pathway and he just totally went on his business without caring for us at all.