30 Ecuadorian Seconds of Silence (Galapagos - Day 5)

 

We woke up early this morning to see several drawers and cabinets wide open and a few poorly secured objects (Like my laptop... eeesh) strewn on the floor. It must have been a rough night for the Endeavour. Before breakfast we did a quick hike through the mangroves and Palo Santo forests at Playa Espumilla. At a lovely lookout over a saltwater lagoon, our naturalist, Celso, called for "30 Ecuadorian seconds of silence" to appreciate everything our senses were taking in. In true Ecuadorian fashion, the silence lasted for approximately 160 seconds. 

After fueling up at breakfast (or this is what I tell myself to justify a plate full of banana pancakes), we braved the (still) rough seas and went snorkeling at Buccaneer Cove. There was a large, very cool cave worth exploring with schools of silvery fish lazily drifting in and out with the waves and a sea lion zipping around. A little further into the snorkeling there was a small, very cool cave that seeeeeemed worth exploring, but was in fact a death trap. Luckily O'Shannon & Caitlin escaped and the only injury sustained was mine because I'm stupid. It turns out you should look where you're going when you're skindiving, because sometimes there are rocks near your head. Stupid.

We had also signed up for the second round of kayaking, so as soon as we finished snorkeling, Celso ran us out in a zodiac to take over the kayaks at Buccaneer Cove. We were instructed just to paddle back to the ship which was anchored a ways off-shore. Keep in mind there were some pretty good-sized swells and we were in kayak-sized kayaks, so not the most simple feat. Leigh insisted on being in the back due to "Schlitterbahn rules" (aka the larger person in the back), without considering the fact that the person in the back also has all the steering power. This rendered me completely helpless when we would slowly turn parallel to the waves (only a good idea if you really wanted to go swimming), so all I could do was panic and annoy Leigh. It turns out I don't like not being in control... who knew? Despite all this and the fact that every time the wind picked up we made negative progress, we made it back to the boat in one piece!

The afternoon was spend at Puerto Egas, where I snuggled with the sea lions on the beach and Leigh spent most of her time snorkeling along the shoreline. She told tales of sharks and eagle rays, but I'm choosing to believe they aren't true since I still haven't seen an eagle ray and it makes me feel better. I also took a short walk inland, where there were remnants of an old salt mine, some grottos with Galapagos fur seals (which are much smaller than the sea lions, but have huuuuge eyes. They look so concerned all of the time), and a tidal formation appropriately named "Darwin's Toilet." 

The day was topped off with make-your-own-icecream-sunday day, which we dubbed "watch-them-make-your-own-ice-cream-sunday day" since we were technically being served the ice cream. Regardless, it was a delicious day.

(Galapa)Ghost Crab balls

(Galapa)Ghost Crab balls

Why are you mocking me?! - Galapagos Mockingbird

Why are you mocking me?! - Galapagos Mockingbird

Sea Turtle tracks

Sea Turtle tracks

O'shannon and Caitlin after not dying

O'shannon and Caitlin after not dying

Rocks o' death

Rocks o' death

The nice cave

The nice cave

Sea Lion napping

Sea Lion napping

Galapagos Hawk

Galapagos Hawk

Poison Apple Tree

Poison Apple Tree

Galapagos Fur Seal (Arctocephalus galapagoensis)

Galapagos Fur Seal (Arctocephalus galapagoensis)

Marine Iguana

Marine Iguana

Hawk feather

Hawk feather

Sea Lion pup

Sea Lion pup

Darwin's Toilet

Darwin's Toilet

Wait for me, y'all!!

Wait for me, y'all!!