Fernandina

Short morning trip across to the newest island, Fernandina. This was our favourite landing.

It had briefly erupted just 2 months ago; the first time in 10 years. The volcano dominated the background but the shore was sand, black lava and green seaweed rockpools. Seismic activity has been raising the site and the old landing point was now far too shallow for use.

Someone quickly spotted an octopus in one of the pools on landing, though it just as quickly hid. Beautiful colours in the strong sunlight; black rocks, red crabs and green seaweed. Sealions and their pups played in the pools, iguanas lazed in the sun and crabs scuttled.

Instructions from our guide

Many bones; from a large whale down to numerous pieces of sealion and iguana. Kim made a sculpture out of the pencil sea urchin legs that were everywhere.

We sat and watched two courting cormorants, one circling the other showing her chest muscles. They were photobombed by a sealion.

Some intensive groups of marine iguanas warming themselves on rocks and expelling salt from their noses. Others wandered in and out of the water.

Lava fields, looking to the Ecuador volcano

There was also a wonderful collection of cacti among the rocks.

 

Whale bones on Fernandina

Cactus among the lava field

After lunch we had a snorkel in some very cold water to look for feeding iguanas. No sign of them for most of the long swim; just another penguin to add to the tally. But then, at the rough end of the bay, there they were and I could follow them underwater to a place where powerful waves were breaking, and saw them feeding from a large shelf of green algae.

The waves were making things difficult and we were called back. I was overturned by a large wave, as was the iguana in front of me. He looked back, slightly concerned but we didn’t touch.

We then motored south back to Bahia Urvina on Isabella. Various sightings of whales; minke and Bryde’s whales.  Could spot their blow and occasional breachings; one passed just under the bow.

From a  black sand beach we walked through scrub at the base of the Alcedo volcano. Found a couple of wild giant tortoises and then lots of yellowish land iguanas.

Land iguana

Our guide getting closer than she should

We couldn’t face another cold snorkel, so we missed a circle of small black tipped reef sharks in the shallows.

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