Española Island, Galápagos, Wednesday, 9th December, 2009

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Overnight we sailed from Seymour to Española Island and we awoke to a blazing sun, blue sky and a glorious turquoise ocean! The first activity was snorkelling from the beach, which turned out to be less than perfect. The water was very turbid and you could hardly see anything. I did see a few fish and had the enormous pleasure of a brief encounter with a sea lion pup in the shallows, but mostly it was just an opportunity to re-familiarise ourselves with the equipment.

From the beach we were taken by panga across the bay for deep-water snorkelling. The water was beautifully clear so I could easily see the bottom about 10m down. Perhaps 7m down was a shoal of small fish in a layer. Nearer the cliff there are loads of fish - surgeon, Mexican hogfish, rainbow wrasse, king angelfish, barberfish, some sort of triggerfish, large banded blenny, a huge shoal of black striped salema. Fabulous! To say nothing of starfish, pencil-spined urchins, spiny-shelled snails, etc. Even though chilled, I didn't want to get out when they called me!

On the afternoon short walk we saw many beasts, starting with sally lightfoot crabs and marine iquanas within 20m of getting off the panga, as well as lava lizards, a juvenile Galápagos hawk, boobies, sea lions, mocking birds, heron, Galápagos doves. Most of the photo's below were taken on the walk, of course.

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Snorkelling beach
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Isabella II is on the left
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Sally lightfoot crab
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Marine iguana
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Lava lizard
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Clustered marine iguanas
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Clustered marine iguanas
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Clustered marine iquanas
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Española Mocking bird
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Española Mocking bird
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Blue-footed booby & chick
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Male ground finch
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Yellow Warbler
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Nazca booby
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Galápagos dove
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Some herbage for John!

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