The Galapagos – Pt.7

Saying goodbye to marine iguanas at Floreana's pier

The second day on Floreana started with a trip to La Loberia, a gorgeous bay-like area filled with sea lions and turtles. We had walked a good bit, so we rested there quite a while, just soaking in the sun and enjoying the breeze. We didn't spend all morning there, however, as much as I would have wanted to, and we got back to the hotel where we got ready for another boat ride to another island; Isabella.

As with all the other boat rides, we stopped a few places where we saw even more blue footed boobies, frigate birds, and sea lions. We also stopped by Tortuga Island. Ring any bells? Pirates of the Caribbean, perhaps? 🙂

La Loberia

Indeed, we did stop by the pirate island, but I must say, it does not look practical enough for a town. After all, its named Tortuga after the Spanish 'turtle' precisely because it is shaped like a turtle's shell. Nor did I see any human life on it whatsoever.

But of course it doesn't have a pirate town on it. Pirates of the Caribbean, remember? Not the Galapagos. There's actually another island off the coast of Haiti called Tortuga, which is the island in the movie.

But anyway: we were continuing on our journey and still had Floreana in view when the captain spotted a whale ahead of us. We saw two mink whales, just swimming to whatever destination they had. The boat followed them for a while, but eventually we had to get to our destination too, so we left them. We went on for quite a while without any stops or notable sights apart from the vast ocean, the sick people sunbathing at the back of the boat, the comfortable ones making themselves comfortable in the cabin, under the shade. Some of us were even dozing off. I myself was of the dozing party, and I was shocked I suddenly heard shouting. I quickly looked up and saw Pablo and Heidi (a licensed diver) put on masks and flippers and jumping into the water. The talk of the others informed me that there was a whale shark underneath the boat, a rare thing to see. Amanda and Lina also went in, and without thinking, I pulled on my own mask and flippers and jumped in right after them. I saw the whale shark underneath me, with all it's spots, and swam hard and fast to catch up with the others and to keep the shark in view. It is a shark, mind you, not a whale. Otherwise it would be called a shark whale. But I learnt that these types of shark are relatively harmless, and as per the name, their diets consist of plankton rather than expendable blonde hot girls at beaches during spring break. The thing that fascinated me the most was the fact that all these tiny fishes (compared to the shark) were hitching rides on the whale shark. I'll never get that image of multicolour fishes going along with a gigantic blue and white spotted fish. Regretfully, during the panic, I did not have the reflex to take pictures, so I have no documentation of the whale shark. However, here is some footage Pablo took while underwater.

Lizard I spotted.

So to summarize: blue footed boobies, frigates, sea lions, green sea turtles, mink whales, and a whale shark. All before lunchtime. Nothing else happened after the whale shark excitement, and we reached Isabella in time for lunch.

However, here is where things get unfortunate. I had already been feeling weird on the boat ride, but dismissed it as sea sickness, although unusual for me. But I was still not better once we had landed. Symptoms included dizziness, tiredness, feeling like the ground is seriously swaying, (embarrassing as it is to admit) diarrhea, and light sensitivity. Any explanations from the medical students among my readers?

But the unfortunate thing is that there were more activities to do, but I realised that if I pushed myself, I would be sick the rest of the voyage. So that afternoon I stayed in the hotel and slept through it. At dinner I felt rejuvenated, and much better, and joined the others at dinner. The only things I had missed were a final snorkel and penguins, but that's alright because I saw a whale shark and I would see penguins at a later date.

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