Sunday, July 16, 2017

Isabela Island, our final delight in the Galapagos

Enfin! online again aux isles Marquises.

I can catch up with photos of beautiful Isabela island, our last stop in the Galapagos. There is no immigration office on this island. This is tricky because Isabela is the logical departure point for a passage across the Pacific. The options are:  a) go to Isabela, then sail back upwind 48 nautical miles to talk to the officials, or b) pay for the officials to come to Isabela. We did the latter and shared the cost with Freya, a Danish boat with a family of 5 on board. 

these little birds dance, skip and hop across the surface, pecking at little sea creatures. 

Provisioning for the long passage at the Villamil market

Baby Galapagos tortoises at the breeding centre on Isabela

Isabela top 3: 

  1. “Los Tuneles” - by boat, along the coast past leaping manta rays and then negotiating a tricky low tide surf entry into columns and tunnels of black volcanic rock. Here we snorkelled: sharks, turtles, beautiful fish, golden and eagle rays and a little lobster cowering against the roof of a cave. Above the surface were herons and penguins amid the cactus, and the highly entertaining blue boobies, some displaying, and some nesting.

Yes, the blue feet of the blue footed booby! (Paquero patas azules)

Los Tuneles. Magical landscape.

  1. Scuba diving on Tortuga Island. Astonishing. Hammerheads approaching through the gloom with their graceful curving and their sharp angled tails. Huge morays. Turtles and enormous schools of fish. Thermoclines which made the water shimmer as the cold water mixed with the warm water filtering down from the sunny surface. 
    Patricio from Argentina,  after our dive. 
  2. the Villamil anchorage - though shallow in places, it was protected by reefs and a very pleasant change from the swells and surge of Santa Cruz. Water taxi service and great snorkelling nearby. Perfect for a cruise on the paddle board.
A boardwalk from the beach to the tortoise breeding centre led us past these beauties. 

Galapagos penguin, the northernmost penguins in the world. 

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