Galapagos Islands Photo Tour Oct 4th Floreana Island - Cormorant Point and Post Office Bay

October 4th, 2011

Tuesday October 4th ... Blog Entry the Island of Floreana and Post Office Bay,

We were up and off the ship by 8:15 a.m. this morning for a visit to Cormorant Point on Floreana Island.  First we slowly made our way along the volcanic cliff shoreline, looking for Sea Lions, and many different species of birds that live along the coast.  We then made a wet landing on the beach.  Wet landings are areas where the zodiac gets as close to the shore as possible then off the back you go and wade into shore.  The water depth is usually knee height.  It’s a trick to get in and out of the zodiacs and to keep your camera gear dry.  All part of the Galapagos experience.

We took a short hike to a salt water lagoon.  Here we were hoping to find Flamingo’s but no such luck, today the lagoon was empty.  They start to gather in the salt water lagoon in great numbers toward the end of November during the wet season.  No worries there was plenty to see and photograph.

We left the lagoon and took another short hike to the other side of the island to a beautiful sandy beach.  Many jelly fish, sally lightfoot crabs and birds to be seen.  This is where we met up the the balance of our group only to find Nancy and Diane had volunteered to have their faces covered with a type of island mud that is said to be good for the complexion.  So the girls gave it a try.  Some of us are still not sure if it was a bet between the naturalist and the ships crew if he could get hikers to put mud on their faces.  At any rate it was great fun.  After returning to the shoreline there was time to do some snorkeling before returning to the ship for lunch.  Prior to lunch we had a short navigation to our next location.  

After lunch we took a one hour zodiac ride around a remote island.  We could not land on it, but we saw and photographed many interesting animals and birds as we circled the island.  It was interesting from a distance it looked dormant with no life, but as we got closer it was a bee hive of activity.  We were also able to photograph the Red-Billed Tropical Bird (P. aethereus)  It was interesting to observe that they had nesting areas on the island but none will be found on the larger island of Floreana that is 1 km away.  

We finished the afternoon by another short navigation to a bay on the other side of the island called Post Office Bay.  Here it is the tradition to address post cards and leave them in a barrel on the island just like the seaman did centuries ago.  Then you look through the post cards and find locations close to you, bring them home and mail them to the folk that had visited and left their post cards.  This was the way sailors got mail home many years ago.  It was great fun and the island had many other small finches and shoreline creatures to photograph.

Tonight we will set sail for North Seymor Island just above Santa Cruz.  In the afternoon we will be visiting Dragon Hill on the Island of Santa Cruz.  Enjoy the variety of images shot on todays excursions.

Our first image is a map showing our current location and where we sailed from overnight.



A shot of the other half of our group as they spot some sea turtles.


Blue Footed Boobies with their young just as we reached the shore.


Looking for breakfast.


The salt water lagoon, it was just a short hike from the beach.  Flamingos can often be found here.


Sandi decided to play in the mud!


Many small birds could be found as we hiked into the lagoon.  The islands have many species of finches.


Nancy and Diane showing of their volcanic mud spa treatment.  I wonder how hard it is to wash off?


After visiting the salt water lagoon we hiked over to this beautiful remote beach.  We were restricted to were we could walk as sea turtles lay their eggs at night in certain areas along this stretch.


Janice and Dick walking along the beach.


Randy has found an interesting subject.


It’s a Sally Lightfoot Crab ...


Some of the group learning about the interesting jelly fish that can be found along the shoreline.


A panoramic shot of the beach, stitched together from 9 vertical images.


Bill zooms in on some interesting birds.


Nancy still sporting her mud pack.


One of the many Jelly Fish that could be found along the beach.


Maria cooling off as we strolled up the beach.


More of the group photographing the crabs on the lava rock.


Watching from a safe distance ...


More Sally Lightfoot Crabs.


This little patch of lava offered up many photo opportunities.  It was rough on the feet!


This is a cross billed finch.


Another Lava Lizzard stopped to check us out on the path.


Half the group departing to sail around the small remote island located 1 km off Floreana.


This is the first view of the island ... it sure does not look like much from out here.


As you approach you see it is a bee hive of activity.  Sea Lions live in the rocks along the coastline.


The Tropical Bird lives in the lava rock cliffs, here is a series showing this beautiful white tailed bird.


Another shot as it returns to it’s nest.


A baby waiting for food as it’s mother or father returns.


Returning along the coast for feeding.


Coming in for a landing ...


Feeding time ...


Now off again to find more food.


One more shot as another Tropical Bird flies by.


The Island close up was very interesting.


Fishing off the coast.


Feeding time, Galapagos Dove.  If I’m wrong please post the correct name and I will correct.


Sea Lion sleeping on the lava rock shore.


Wet landing at Post Office Bay.  Sandi seems to be happy that she still has all her toes.


Some of the group sorting through the post cards.  This tradition goes back to 1793 when Captain James Colnett placed a barrel on the island for passing ships to leave their letters, then others that passed by took those letters to the countries of address.


More sorting ... where is Rob P.  when you need him ...


Dan finds a post card to take home to mail.


Here’s a group shot taken at Post Office Bay.  Missing are Janice and Bonnie from our group.


A walk up the hill behind the post office barrel and we found some beautiful brush land.


A male Yellow Warblers perched on a tree as we passed by.


A female Yellow Warbler.


Here’s looking at you Kate ...


Each time we returned to the ship for a shore excursion, there was a treat waiting for us on the back landing deck.  This afternoon it was ice cream.  Lorna, Karen and Marie adding some toppings.


That’s it for today’s images, as you can see on the map below we will be sailing to the island above Santa Cruz called North Seymor.  It’s only the third night and we have already covered quite a few miles.  Check back tomorrow for more of our Galapagos Island Adventure.



Tags : GalapagosTour

Please add a comment

Posted by Maria Devereux on
That person cooling their feet in the surf after walking along the beach is not me...
Is it Linda C.? Or was that someone from the another group?
Posted by James Cowie on
Sorry Maria, now I look closer it's someone from another group.