Friday, March 11, 2005 - Espaņola Island: Punta Suarez

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Just another pretty face

Espaņola Island is the southernmost island in the Galapagos Archipelago and has some of the largest marine iguanas. Its location far from the other islands has led to a high degree of species differentiation and a large number of sea birds. It's the only island to have the waved albatross, but alas, not this time of year. We will have to come back!

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Nasca boobies

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Baby booby

This island is a must-visit for a Galapagos tour. Our toughest walk of the trip came here. It was only about a mile, and we took it really, really slow, but it was very rocky and brutal on the feet. Be sure to wear some tough-soled shoes when you're here. We spent about three hours at this site.

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Cliffs of Punta Suarez

The trail takes you through some tall rock formations and by some stunning seascapes. We spent an enjoyable time sitting on the cliffs watching a blowhole erupt as the waves broke through a volcanic fissure. We were hoping to see a crab shoot up through the hole, but no dice. It was still cool.

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Blowhole

Espaņola is teeming with life. This is what I had in mind when I thought about visiting the Galapagos. We saw marine iguanas, land iguanas, lava lizards, sea lions, crabs, and all kinds of birds - American oyster catchers, a yellow-crowned night heron, Nasca boobies, blue-footed boobies, and even a Galapagos hawk.

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Yellow-crowned night heron

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Galapagos hawk

The blue-footed boobies are hilarious. Most of them we saw in pairs (boobies are always better in pairs), and several pairs were engaged in a not-so-graceful mating dance.

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Pair of boobies

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Battling boobies

Dinner was at 7:00, as per usual, then we were immediately underway. It's four to five hours to Floreana Island, and this way we'd be at a standstill for the greater part of the night. For dinner we had excellent fresh sea bass. Tom had ordered the "nothing that swims" meal, and they brought him an omelet. Oops - he doesn't eat eggs either. He managed with just the rice and vegetables.

After dinner Tom and I went outside to look at the stars and enjoy the night air. When we came back in at 9:30, everyone else had already turned it, so we drifted off as well. There was a lot of swell again tonight while the yacht was motoring, but I wedged myself in the bunk and slept great.

 

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