Fernandina, Galapagos, Sunday 13th December, 2009

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Marine Iguanas.

While we ate lunch, the Isabella II cruised over the short hop to Fernandina, and soon after that we were ferried to the island where we landed at a wooden jetty amongst mangrove trees. It was only a short walk to the beach, where we found the place crawling with marine iguanas. Walter told us that as there were no convenient beaches for 18th and 19th century ships to haul out onto for repair, very few ships had moored here and as a consequence, there were very few alien species invading Fernandina.

The lava on Fernandina is what you think lava should be, all swirly and ropey and wonderful. Sadly, the volcano wasn't erupting, which I think was my main disappointment of the trip. I gather it only erupts for about 3 weeks at a time, so this spring's activities were it for now.

Soon we arrived at a long rock with the near face orientated towards the sun, and it was just carpeted with marine iguanas. I think the numbers of individuals must reflect the lack of competition with goats and donkeys, etc, plus the lack of predation by cats and dogs. Click the thumbnail on the left to see it. Yes, I think the white stuff is iguana poo. My apologies for the rather shaky camerawork. Oh yes, and these are 20Mb files, so they take a while to load.

I saw a tail disappearing into a lump in the sand, which Socrates said might have been a snake. I also managed to film a cormorant chasing a fish in a shallow rock pool, If you click the thumbnail on the left here, it should play for you.

In the wide bays there were numerous turtles. Unsurprisingly, I didn't manage to get a decent picture of any, though I did manage to photograph 5 small fish in a rock pool. I think they're blennies, but I can't see them in my Galápagos Marine Life book. And on the way back, egged on by me, Jenny risked Walter's wrath by turning a vertebra from a whale skeleton around, as it had been assembled back to front. It's either a Bride's or a Minke whale, but we're not sure which.
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Marine Iguana
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Lava Lizard
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Pohoehoe Lava
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Marine Iguana & Lava Lizard
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Pahoehoe lava
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Sea Lion & Lava Lizard
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Sea Urchin Test
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Marine Iguanas
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Sally Lightfoot Crab
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Sally Lightfoot Crabs
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Flightless Cormorant
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Lava Cacti
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Lava Cacti
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Pahoehoe Lava
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Pahoehoe Lava
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Whale Skeleton
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5 Blennies

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