We went to a beach where I swam with a large sea turtle. The water was only 4 or 5 feet deep. The turtle ignored my presence just a couple of feet away, as it dove to feed on the bottom, and surfaced to breathe. I don’t do underwater photos, though, so no images for y’all of the turtle. But there were iguanas and, of course, sea lions…
The Galapagos are famous for their finches, which were one of the species (actually they evolved into 13 species on the islands) that got Darwin thinking about why/how they had developed different beaks (adapting to the foods they were eating). Also I find it rather amazing that a mating pair of finches somehow made it to these islands in the first place. Recent “invasive species” aside, only animals that were blown 700 miles off course, or that could live for a long time drifting (perhaps on a downed tree) across in the current, live here. Tortoises yes (they can go a long time without fresh water), frogs no (amphibians cannot last long without fresh water), for example.
We made it — just before dark. Anchored in Baquerizo Moreno and made a grand dinner. We deal with the customs/immigrations authorities in the morning.
Five and a half days is excellent time; we were lucky with the wind — we motored just one night, and we had no squalls. Relative to other boats we made better time than the boats that left Panama before us. But two boats that left the same day we did arrived about six hours before us. We think they motored a lot, but we don’t really know… I like that they, more than we, are looked at as the fast boats, setting an expectation that they will arrive first on future legs.
We had our first Galapagos wildlife(?) experience already, as we were relaxing in the cockpit waiting for dinner to cook. Tim heard a sound behind him, and turned around to find himself face to face with a sea lion! Apparently the sea lion had climbed up our transom steps and boarded without asking permission.
It’s hard to believe we are in the Galapagos. The actual experience so far does not match the romantic notions. We’re in a relatively busy harbor with too many lights and too much noisy nighttime activity. But to think we are in the Pacific Ocean, that we have crossed the equator, and we are now in the fabled islands of incredible animals and Darwin’s inspiration — wow!