Day 5: To Plazas : Sea-lion kingdom

On 28 Sep 2017, we took the same yacht to Plazas. These tours were group tours, with 15 guests and 6 crew members. South Plazas is located on the east cost of Santa Cruz Island. It was formed from uplifted marine lava and is one of the smallest islands on the archipelago. It’s one of the most concentrated wildlife sites around through.

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Sea-lion resting at the edge of cliff!

Disembark at a small dock frequently occupied by sea lions, then walk through a small forest of prickly pear cacti, decorated with their yellow flowers, and look out for land iguanas waiting for the fruits and flowers to fall to the ground. Make your way up to the top of a cliff, where you can often see a shoal of the native yellow-tailed mullet in the waters below. Look up for views of swallow-tailed gulls, tropical bird, frigate birds, and pelicans. At the eastern end of the island bull sea lions congregate to rest and recover their energy after losing their territory; and plot to once again become the beach master. After this enjoyable walk, return to the boat for lunch, and then sail to Punta Carrion for some more snorkeling. This is a great chance for underwater photos of sea turtles, white tip reef sharks, sea lions and many fish. You’ll then return to Puerto Ayora.

As usual we had an early 7:30 AM breakfast and were greeted by our daily friends. Little birds would come in to breakfast area to pick on the crumbs fallen on the ground etc. They had no fear of humans.

After breakfast we took a 20 minute ride to the ferry port to embark on the bot ride to Plazas. Very similar set up of about 14 guests and 6 crew members for this ride too.

However this ride we had other special company. Frigate Birds! These birds rule the sky in Galapagos. On a 60 mile boat ride they start flying along the boat riding on the tail-wind of the boat. Frigate birds have very well designed aerodynamic body for flying both at great heights and hover at low ground level.

Plazas is home for Sea-lions and their breeding ground. The island has shallow bay on one side and 100 feet rocky cliff on the other. Sea-lions, crabs, iguanas (both land and marine), Sharks, and many species of birds made Plazas their home.

Even the flora was unique to Plazas. The red inferno shrubs were covering the island.

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A three mile walk around the edge of the island was treacherous and mesmerizing.

I was also honored to take a “selfie” with Frigate birds.

More birds, iguanas, and crabs…

Some of the nature videos we took along the walk around the island.

Later in the afternoon we went snorkeling. Most amazing experience!

Unfortunately I did not take any underwater camera and was unable to capture the images. Oh well, Next time I’ll be better prepared.

The return ride was as always uneventful as every one is tired and taking rest.

Reached the hotel in Santa Cruz at about 5:00 PM. We refreshed and went out for Birthday dinner at Red Mangrove.

After great dinner, walked back to hotel late night and called it a day.

This was an AWESOME day with great appreciation of wild life and laws of mother-nature. Each of the species continues to evolve and adapt in raw, tough and rugged environment that our planet provides.

Walking on the land of the free and wild animals you develop a new respect for what is possible!

This was our last day of visiting Islands and province of Galapagos. Tomorrow we fly back to Quit Ecuador.  More to come from Quito.

Till then so long.

Enjoy!

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