|Galapagos ground finch|
The first island we visited was San Cristobal. We arrived by plane from mainland Ecuador, and were immediately greeted by views of frigate birds over the sea, and by Galapagos finches hopping around the airport. We were quickly taken to our hotel and to pick up snorkeling equipment. Then, our naturalist guide took us to the waterfront. It was unbelievable; there were sealions and marine iguanas everywhere, along with sally lightfoot crabs and a lava heron. Some sealions were even asleep on the benches! Our guide was patient, and understood our excitement, despite knowing that these were the most common species we would see over the coming days.
|Sealion on bench, reading 'preserve what is ours'|
|Sally lightfoot crab|
|Lava heron (subspecies of striated heron)|
|Frigate bird - one of the pirates of the sea|
|Sealion sand sculpture|
|Sunset with the sealions|
Snorkeling at Kicker Rock was hard work; it was deep and the current was strong, so I didn't last long before heading back to the boat. I occupied myself attempting to photograph the seabirds resting and nesting on the rock, such as Nazca boobies, red-billed tropic birds, brown noddies... Most of the others, however, including my husband, continued on to see hammerhead, Galapagos and white-tipped reef sharks, as well as thousands of fish, green and hawksbill turtles... sealions...
|Blue footed booby!|
|Yellow crested night heron|
|Displaying frigate birds|
|Rescued giant tortoise|