To the north-west of Chinese Hat & Rabida sits Santiago Island. It’s 226 square miles and almost 3,000 feet at it’s highest point. According to the GPS on my camera, we were at 14 min 47 seconds S, which is just under 15 nautical miles south of the equator and the closest we came to it.
We were fortunate to see a Galapagos Hawk; endemic to the Galapagos Islands, it’s now extinct on many of the islands.
Another of Darwin’s finches, this is a green warbler-finch getting ready for take off
This little one was too cute to not take a picture of…
Not exactly a tropical paradise
This mom was getting some well needed rest; our guide (Adrian again) figured the sea lion pup was a few hours old at the most.
More sea lion “play”
A pile-up on the beach
I think the small one is a Sanderling, not sure about the bigger one
A majestic Great Blue Heron stands very still, if it weren’t for the feathers blowing in the wind you might think it was a statue.
And then it soars…
The volcanic rock landscape
A lava heron & a sally lightfoot crab look out to sea
Another sally lightfoot getting ready to moult; this one’s a little further along and bravely out in the open!
How many iguanas can you spot in this next photo?
This sea lion though it would be fun to play with the iguanas, they didn’t…
The water here is a beautiful turquoise and very clear
The Yellow-Crowned Night Heron, despite it’s name, feeds day and night. When resting they like to stand on one leg and look as though they have no neck.
This video is “Darwin’s Toilet”. The sea water moves in and out through underground tunnels.
Adrian wanted to show us a scorpion, so he moved a small rock. Sure enough, there was one there. Very tiny, maybe a cm or so.
Sadly for the scorpion he was now exposed. This little lava lizard appeared out of nowhere and the scorpion became lunch.
If a predator grabs a Lava Lizard by it’s tail, it can “drop” it to get away. The tail will continue to move while the now tail-less lizard makes it’s escape. Remarkably, a new tail will grow; albeit without bone and with skin that’s a different colour and texture. Clearly, our scorpion eating friend lost his tail fairly recently.
After our walk it was time to snorkel off the black sand beach. It was a hot walk to the water’s edge but well worth it!
After lunch we had a panga ride at Bucaneer Cove. First we went into a cave…
Then along the shoreline and some beautiful scenery
This rock formation is known as “The Monk”
Some blue footed boobies
After the Panga ride we returned to the boat to get ready for snorkelling. The water clarity wasn’t the best, but a sea lion really wanted to play with us. Nibbling on flippers and twirling and diving in the water. It was beautiful to see.