Snorkeling with sea lions (Lobos island)

Breakfast by 5 clock we had to get up, because we had ahead of us to reach in Quito more than an hour taxi ride to the airport for our flight to the Galapagos. 9:30 clock then started toward natural paradise our machine. 1000 km further and 3,5 hours later we arrived on the Galapagos Islands Baltra. The small island has more or less only the airport and the landscape looked pretty dried up from. A short bus ride took us to the ferry and 10 minutes later we were on the island of Santa Cruz. As we walked from the ferry, was right in the way a sleeping sea lion, the left does not interfere from the passing tourists. That was ever a small foretaste of the next few days in a wildlife paradise Galapagos. By bus we drove another hour until after Puerta Ayora, the largest town in the Galapagos.
After we moved into our room at the Hotel Salinas, we met Kim and Rune, that we have on Kanawa had met while diving. Together we spent the afternoon at “Cracks”, a small water-filled gorge between lava rocks, in the swim and snorkel you can. It was through lava rock past giant cactus (as large as trees) and salt fields. Many fish were not seen in the cool water, but it was a good refreshment in the heat. Some brave even jumped off the high rocks into the canyon. Back at the port of Puerto Ayora, we have seen quite a lot of baby sharks, especially in the evening. In addition, cavorted here in the water stingrays, Puffers, Sea lions and pelicans. It is fascinating, to see so many animals already directly from the jetty!

MS Beagle Cruise Tag 1: Puerto Ayora & Charles Darwin Research Station

On Tuesday our 8-day boat tour and we should be started at 12 clock at the port of Puerto Ayora. From there we were with a dinghy MS Beagle Park. The HMS Beagle was named after the boat, with the Charles Darwin made his famous expedition to the Galapagos Islands. We got our cabin assigned and stowed all our stuff first, so we could move on to the narrow space also. Guillaume and Frederique from Quebec / Canada went with us on board and in the afternoon, Jennifer joined (our guide) sowie Martha, Bill and her two daughters, Shea and Thea from Portland / USA to. And then our tour could begin finally. With a rubber boat we drove from the port in a couple of minutes to Charles Darwin Research Station. Here the rare giant tortoises and iguanas are bred and then reintroduced. However, some species of giant tortoises are unfortunately extinct. Only once a year they lay eggs, these are collected by the rangers and hatched in an incubator. Most amazing of all is, that the incubation temperature determines the sex! In 29,5 degrees, there are females and males at lower temperatures. “Galapago” translates “Wulstsattel” and refers to the resident turtles, their armor looks like a saddle.
After our visit to the Darwin Centre we strolled a bit through the streets of Puerta Ayora and had dinner back on the boat. Then trundled the last two passengers our little group a, Rowan and Nicole from Vancouver / Canada.

Galapagos - Cruise Beagle SE



MS Beagle Cruise Tag 2: Isla Floreana

Night by 2 clock broke our boat on to Isla Floreana, where we arrived at 6 clock in the morning. After breakfast we made with the dinghy in Puerto Velasco Ibarra and drove on a dusty road in the typical island bus, is open at the sides, up into the highlands. Here we took a hike to a lookout point with a great view of the surrounding inactive volcanoes. The landscape here was really nice green. We went to a giant tortoise pen, wo ca. Live animals 40. We were very close to her and she had no fear of us. On the contrary, they even came to us, although the terrain was huge.
Before we took off again with the boat, we threw a look into the letter box at the boat dock. For over 200 years it is in use, earlier, especially by whalers. However, the postcards have no stamps, but be delivered personally. Nowadays mainly are maps of tourists in the mailbox, there were also some from Germany and Switzerland, these, but none of our environment, we would personally can bring. The most original postcard included only one sentence and that a marriage proposal “Do you want to marry me?”. But there was no date on it, so who knows how long the card is already in there, and the sender waits for a response…
For lunch we were back on the Beagle, and a huge pod of dolphins escorted us to continue. They swam for a while right next to our boat and jumped well from time to time out of the water. Das war toll!
In the afternoon our first snorkeling trip was at the so-called Devil's Crown. That's a volcanic cone, projecting from the sea. We saw lots of colorful fish, White tip reef sharks, Puffer fish and turtles. At the most fantastic but we found the sea lions, floating around the close to us, Pirouettes turned and looked curiously at the camera. That was a very special experience to swim with these animals. ūüôā
In the afternoon we made a trip to the beach at Punta Cormorant with olive sand. Over a path along a saltwater lagoon, where we could see a few flamingos as pink dots in the distance, We hiked to a beautiful white sand beach. Here sea turtles have their nests, and we saw their tracks and even egg shells in the sand. In the sea very close to the beach floated a couple of eagle rays and we could observe turtles during mating. Crazy how close you are to the animals here comes!
Evening, after a delicious meal together we drove on. The sea was restless and this time the boat rocked quite. Nicole was also a bit seasick, but the next morning she was well again good.

MS Beagle Cruise Tag 3: Spanish Island

Espa√Īola Iceland was our next destination. After a “wet” Landung am Strand von Punta Suarez, barefoot and with our hiking boots over the shoulder, we found the same number of red marine iguanas and lots of sea lions. The animals on the Galapagos Islands are not shy at all and have no fear of humans. We explored over a narrow rocky path the island and saw the marine iguanas lazily lying in the sun, the funny blue-footed boobies with turquoise blue feet, Galapagos doves and Nazcat√∂lpel.
Most of the animals live only here on the Galapagos Islands, nowhere else on earth. On the steep cliffs by the sea, we took a short break and observed as through a blowhole, the water was injected through the crevices. The sun was quite hot and far and wide there was no shade.
But then we could snorkel luckily cool again. Our favorite playmates, the curious sea lions, were again with this. I just filmed a sea lion, when he came directly to me and then was suddenly gone. Nicole said, he just jumped over me and twice in a row! But there was not only sea lions in the sea but also skates, Sharks and many smaller fish. In the afternoon we met our “Friends” on beautiful secluded beach “Gardner Bay” back. Here was just us and a lot of sea lions on the soft and white sand beach and turquoise sea. Until dinner we sailed this time, because before the captain has always used the engine. Then we drove on to the island of San Crist√≥bal, where we arrived the next morning.

MS Beagle Cruise Tag 4: San Cristóbal

With the boat we crossed to Punta Pitt, the easternmost point of the island of San Cristobal, and landed on a small beach. The first animals we encountered were of course sea lions. Just behind the beach resulted in a small way through rock high up the mountain to the breeding grounds of the Nazca- und Rotfußtölpel. We also saw a couple of very fluffy boy and the view from up here on the sea was lovely.
Back on our boat the trip went on and we saw the road a couple of whales! During the lunch we received a call for help of a small fishing boat, its motor failed. We dragged it off then, until it was picked up by another boat.
The boat ride went past the Kicker Rock, where two volcanic rock towers rise out of the sea. The channel between them is great for diving and snorkeling, because here cavort many sharks, z.B. Hammer- und Galapagoshaie. Unfortunately, we could not snorkel here but, there just were many jellyfish in the water.
In the afternoon took us to Isla Lobos Jennifer to different birds to see. After landing on the small island stood out and the first thing a pretty strange bird eye (So not seen literally ;-)), namely a frigate bird. During the mating season the males have for three days an inflatable red throat pouch on the neck, the blow up like a balloon looks. Blue-footed boobies and sea lions were again one of the party.
Then was time for snorkeling. This time we did not see quite as many underwater creatures, but our faithful companion, the sea lions, swam back with us for the bet and also a turtle crossed our path. In the evening we were broken again very nice and we were soon tired after dinner in our cabin bunk bed.

MS Beagle Cruise Tag 5: Isla Santa Fé & South Plaza

Again we had time out of bed. Right after breakfast brought us the boat to the island of Santa Fé. The last piece to the beach we waded as so many times before through the water. At the small sandy beach waiting for us back sea lions, which now no longer had so often serve as a photo opportunity as still at the beginning of our tour. The landscape of Santa Fe is characterized by many cacti, most as large as trees with a really thick trunk. On the beach were a few turtle nests and suddenly we saw like a little baby turtle fled into the sea. Even a few Galapagos doves were running around on the beach. Fotoobjekt were dieses Mal Galapagos Land Leguane.
Snorkeling with turtles, we were then, Rays and, how could it be otherwise, Sea Lions. We have now seen it so many times, but it was still exciting and interesting to watch them.
We spent the afternoon on the small island of South Plaza. In the shadow of giant cacti were large, Land-Leguane Gelbe. The floor looked very dry and was covered with red plants. The sea lions were looking shade under the cacti. On the cliffs bred many birds and we have also seen red-billed tropic birds in their innumerable landing tests at the steep rock face.
While waiting for our boat, that lay in the turquoise bay, we saw in the water right next to the jetty emerge a huge White tips. He swam along the shore, to catch one of the little sea lion babies. Back on the HMS Beagle, we made ourselves comfortable on board, waiting on dinner. It's not bad, when you need to worry about nothing.
At night we saw quite a lot of stars in the sky, But something was different: the “Big Dipper” stood on his head! This is because, because we were south of the Equator. Before us was never noticed. That evening our boat lay in the Bay. The generator noise was heard but still pretty loud, but we were so tired, that it did not bother so.

MS Beagle Cruise Tag 6: North Seymour & Bartholomew

Before breakfast we saw a couple of big Galapagos sharks circling around our boat and were looking forward to do more in on snorkeling. But first we had a shore excursion to North Seymour, a flat island just north of Baltra, which was raised by subterranean movements from the sea. North Seymour is home to various sea birds. We saw quite a lot of frigate birds with their red throat pouch inflated. The blue-footed boobies were in the mating season and we were able to observe their typical mating dance. The male tries to always higher than the female to stand and shows the female his feet, that are bigger and bluer than their. Both alternately lift your feet and it looks as if they are dancing. On North Seymour we saw again many land iguanas and marine iguanas.
During the subsequent snorkeling we had unfortunately extremely poor visibility and the sharks from our boat were not seen. After lunch we tried our luck again, this time in front of the small island of Bartolomé. The island is known by a rock pinnacle, which protrudes from the sea. Here lives a small colony of Galapagos penguins and snorkel around the rocks we were next to rays and sharks also discover a few of the little penguins.
It is the highest point of the volcano-island hike, what we did. Jennifer told us many interesting information about the animals and plants in this lava- and ash landscape. It looked like on the moon, everything was very dry. Therefore here also live not many animals. We climbed a long staircase up to the top of the island and had a great view from up here on the islands and the sea.

MS Beagle Cruise Tag 7: Chinese Hat & Santa Cruz

The penultimate day of our boat trip started with a landfall on the island of Sombrero Chino lava. The name comes from the particular form, because the island looks like a Chinese hat. Here we were able to observe a couple of penguins. One just chased fish and swam it back and forth very quickly. In addition, there were pelicans, Sea Lions, many marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot crabs.
While snorkeling we met again a few penguins, several white tip reef sharks, a moraine and even an octopus. In the afternoon we made a trip to Cerro Dragon, translated Dragon Mountain, on the island of Santa Cruz. On a lake flamingos were busy, searching the water for food. You heard correctly, as they moved with schnatterndem noise the water through their beaks. Between the shrubs and trees along the way we discovered again and again land iguanas and various birds. Finally,'s even went to the beach and a dip in the sea. In the evening we had our final dinner and there was even a cake! The beautiful time on the HMS Beagle went by too fast!

MS Beagle Cruise Tag 8: Black Turtle Cove

Breakfast at 6 clock, before breakfast, we went the last time with the boat on the way. This time we drove through mangroves to Black Turtle Cove and began the search for baby sharks. We observed stretched the shallow water. The mangroves are the blacktip sharks bring their young into the world, who are in the protection of plants grow until they are large enough for the open sea. Until then, they have quite careful, because even the Haim√ľtter eat their own babies!
First, we only ever saw turtles. Two were busy with the pairing, which can take over an hour! A few rays swam around our boat also. We had almost given up hope of baby sharks, but in the end we discovered a few of them. As you can see like the Great.
Back on the HMS Beagle had our last breakfast together and then we sat down with the boat over to Baltra. From here it was for us back to Puerta Ayora. From here, we wanted to discover the next few days the underwater world of Galapagos diving.

The underwater world of Galapagos

Galapagos is one of the most beautiful diving spots in the world. It is known for the numerous large fish and especially for the hammerheads. And of course we did not miss the. The next 4 days we went with the diving school Eagle Ray Tours on Underwater Expedition. The visibility was unfortunately pretty bad, since a few days before the full moon was. However, we have seen in all 8 dives hammerheads. Sometimes we only saw one of them, but sometimes schools of over 30 sharks. Some were about 4 feet long and it was so far the biggest fish we've ever seen.
Immediately after 5 minutes the first dive we discovered one of the highlights, a giant sunfish. The view was in the days to happiness always better. The last dive was especially good. We saw schools of manta rays, Adlerrochen, Hammerhaien, White tip reef sharks and a few black tip sharks.
On the last afternoon we walked to Tortuga Bay, a long and wide sandy beach near Puerto Ayora. Home to some marine iguanas t√ľmmelten on the beach and the baby sharks swam around our feet.
The next morning it was unfortunately say goodbye to the beautiful natural paradise of the Galapagos and we flew back to Quito.