Busy on sea and land

Up with the dawn.

And saw the sunrise. We traveled overnight to Floreana Island, and anchored offshore.

That’s our yacht, Grace, in the background. We were ferried to shore in pangas, and with the many activities today, we’ll become very familiar with various ways and situations relevant to entering and exiting a panga, Galápagos style.

Our first excursion was before breakfast, a quick trip to the local post office, old style. Sailors used to stop here and leave mail for a later ship going in the appropriate direction, and collect mail for whomever they could deliver to. We left a few postcards in the spirit of this continuing instituion, and some folks took one to deliver. The delivery is meant to be done in person. This is especially ironic as the postal service for Ecuador has been closed as a cost-cutting measure, leaving DHL and FedEx as options.

Returning to the Grace. Next we were instructed about kayaking and snorkeling. I have no photos of these activities. Too close to salt water. I have now been on my first kayak ride. The Grace carries eight two-seater kayaks, enough for all clients to go at once. Most of us did. Saw green tortoises in the water and sea lions and blue footed boobies on land. Among others.

A quinoa croquette, our lunch starter. Lunch was followed by re-donning our wet suits, hoods, and neon life vests for a deep-water snorkeling experience among some volcanic formations that spear the sky (very vertical and craggy).

Our late afternoon activity was a nature walk on Floreana. Here, we’re headed for our landing place.

We started into the interior of the island and skirted this brackish pond. I saw several pink flamingoes with binoculars on the far side. Genetically, the flamingoes here are most similar to ones in the Caribbean.

We kept walking and popped out on a beach on the opposite side of the island, just in time to witness a bit of a feeding frenzy. Several sharks, diving frigate birds, and rays.

We enjoyed our meet and greet of the staff tonight. Yesterday was too complicated to insert that important activity, although you would expect it on Day One. The crew showed up in their dress uniforms, all white and starched. We attempted our most formal wear. The social director, one very lovely and super-helpful Scarlett (yes, named after Atlanta’s Scarlett) introduced each of the crew members and detailed their responsibilities, and then we introduced ourselves to them.

Previously, I didn’t know who the captain was, and was looking forward to seeing him. I was surprised to discover I had spoken to him several times during panga entrance and exit activities, and he had sprayed my feet with clean water after a snorkeling expedition. Rather egalitarian, ¿no?

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