Ecuador Day 5 – Plaza Sur and Santa Fe

Sleep during the night didn’t work well due to the boat moving to the next island at around 03:00 and the waves being incredibly choppy. We were up at 06:00 for a small breakfast, got our stuff ready and headed over by panga to Plaza Sur at 08:00.

Isla Plaza Sur

Landing on Plaza Sur is easy due to the concrete jetty. Almost immediately we were greeted by sea lions, marine iguanas, land iguanas and swallowtail gulls. Walking along the marked path we saw many more but also saw other species such as lava lizards, herons, frigate birds, Galapagos terns, sheer-waters, Nazca boobies, a tropic bird, and many Sally light-foot crabs. It was a very warm walk with the sun beating down on us – the amount of insects trying to bite us didn’t help either. We stopped near sea lions on the coast for quite a while as we were told more about the local sea lions than I could take in. After a walk up to the cliffs the path started to loop back to where we started but passed by an area used by iguanas for nesting. During the walk there was a period of about 10 minutes that it rained, but it wasn’t that heavy.

Galapagos Land Iguana (Conolophus subcristatus)

Back on the boat at 10:30, a snack was there waiting for us and shortly after the boat got moving again. Not long after the movement started James started to feel seasick and headed back to the cabin. He did attempt to come down for lunch at 12:00 but couldn’t face it so disappeared again.

Swallow-tailed Gull (Creagrus furcatus)

After lunch we tried on some fins ready for snorkelling and at around 13:45 we had anchored near Santa Fe. For the past few hours the rain had been heavy, but by the time I went snorkelling at 14:30 the rain had stopped and the sea had calmed. The snorkelling was great as I saw many different species of fish and even saw some blue-footed boobies on the nearby rocks.

Blue-footed Boobies (Sula nebouxii)

After about an hour we headed back to the boat by panga and quickly got ready for another excursion, this time to Isla Santa Fe. This landing involved wading through the water onto a sandy beach full of sea lions. Unfortunately I had left my camcorder behind on the boat so couldn’t capture any video of the sea lions sun bathing and being playful.

Wandering around the island we didn’t see anything we hadn’t already seen. It was quite a muddy island but didn’t rain whilst we were there. A couple of people did spot a snake but it was gone before I got there. We then travelled back by panga as the sun set behind us.

The evening meal consisted mainly of potatoes, chicken, and some vegetables I didn’t like. After the previous sleepless night I went back to the cabin just after 20:00 to try and get some sleep.

Galápagos Sea Lion (Zalophus wollebaeki)

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