Galapagos Islands Photo Tour Oct 7th Fernandina Island and Isabella Targus Cove

October 07, 2011

Friday October 7th ... Blog Entry Fernandina Island and Isabela Island Targus Cove

What a busy day, we were all up as usual by 7:00 a.m. and at breakfast by 7:30 a.m. Then a dry landing on Fernandina Island at Espinosa Point.  This region of the Galapagos Islands is the epicentre of volcanic activity.  Over the centuries as the islands have been formed this is the hot spot where they were created.  

The islands are on the move at a rate of 1 inch per year due to tectonic shift.  Part of the understanding of this part of the world and it’s inhabitants are how it is evolving.  The newer islands are to the west and reducing activity of older islands to the east.  You can see why Darwin found this region so fascinating back in 1835 when he arrived on the islands onboard the SS Beagle.

Marine Iguana as far as your eye could see as we arrived on the island this morning.  The other bird we were anxious to see was the Flightless Cormorant and we were not disappointed.  There are some images of this amazing creature in the image part of the blog section below.

We spent the morning exploring and photographing along the coast of this island.  Our hike took us along the Pahoehoe lava flows and rugged coast.  Every few steps you had to stop just to observe.  Between the iguanas, sea lions, and birds you did not know what to focus on first.  We continued along to a clearing where you could clearly see how the lava flowed down from the volcanic mountain located in the centre of the island.  The last volcanic eruption in this region was on April 13th, 2009.

Around 11:15 we made our way back to the ship for lunch and a short navigation to Targus Cove.  Lunch today was traditional Ecuador dishes including some sweet treats for dessert.

By 1:00 p.m. we were anchored in Targus Cove.  We took some time to snorkel along the cost and those who did not wish to go snorkeling could swim off the back of the ship.  We had a fast change and back on the zodiacs to explore and photograph the coast.  We saw more Flightless Cormorants, Galapagos Penguins, Pelicans and just as we were ready to head to shore to take the climb to Darwin’s Lagoon we spotted two whales just beyond the cove.  Quickly our navigator turned the boat around and we headed out to the open sea to get closer to the whale.  We were not disappointed.  The whales were jumping and we were able to get up close to capture their activity.  What a treat, and the cameras were a clicking.  Thank goodness for motor drives.  There are a series of images from the whale encounter below.

We eventually reached the shore and then after climbing about 120 steps we reached the top of Darwin’s Saltwater Lagoon.  The view was beautiful and the afternoon blue sky was a great backdrop.

After returning to the ship, we got cleaned up for dinner and then around 8:15 p.m. we were all invited up to the bridge to watch the GPS hit 000.000.000 as we crossed the equator.  The captain managed to hold the boat at the 000 setting so we could all get a shot of the GPS.  When we got down for the evening briefing everyone was presented with a certificate stating they had crossed the equator.  It read as follows “I, Neptune, god of the seas, of all waters and rivers, herby and in the name of the Coral I the enchanted ship congratulate you for having crossed the Equatorial Line, and here therefore declare you true ocean spirits of my real kingdom, The Galapagos Islands”  It was dated October 7th and signed by the Captain of the ship.

We have another long navigation tonight as we sail back to the other side of Isabella Island towards our next destination Bartolme a small island above Baltra then in the afternoon we will visit Black Turtle Cove on Santa Cruz.  Enjoy them many images from today’s adventure.

Map showing todays navigation.  We crossed the equator 4 times during our journey.



Iguana’s as far as your eye could see, amazing.


Tom, Bill, David taking a few shots of two baby Sea Lions, this image was shot by Lorne Eggert.  Thanks Lorna.


Bonnie amongst the Marine Iguana’s, look out behind you ...


In a line to soak up the sun.


Getting down to their level ...


A baby Sea Lion snoozing under some brush.


What’s happening I’m lost in the crowd!!!


Close-up, you would not want to meet this guy in a dark alley.


Just soaking up the sun.


Say AAHHH ... another shot by Lorna Eggert.  Thanks this is great! 


A Lava Lizard hitch hiker.


And they called it Iguana Love ...


Even a Mocking bird takes advantage of these slow moving creatures.


Dave getting ready to photograph the Flightless Cormorants.


A view along the coast, thanks this image was shot by Michelle Rondeau.


Here’s another shot of the beautiful lava coast by Michelle Rondeau.


Don’t forget to look up, a Galapagos Hawk flying overhead.


Here’s another one of those head shots I like so much.


Something’s got their attention.


Linda getting some video footage.


Tom moving along the shoreline.


Ron taking a short break along the trail.


Lorna, Ron and our Naturalist Guide Rosy.  A Naturalist Guide is required to visit the islands.


Randy taking the shot.


David taking some time to observe before he gets the shot.


Bill getting down to ground level.  Hide your fingernails!!! (good joke on yours truly, read day one blog to understand)


Bonnie looking for her next shot.


Dan the camera suits!!!


Joyce busy at work too.


So that’s what they are all taking shots of.  The Flightless Cormorant.


Paul’s at it too ...


Check out those wings, no flying here.


They are an interesting bird.


Wood or fossil !!


Lava cactus.


Another shot of the lava Cactus anchored to the Pahoehoe Lava.


A survey marker.  The islands are on the move with tectonic shift and these markers help measure the activity.


Who will win the debate???


Bill and Linda posing for a photo.


Marilyn crossing one of the many deep fishers in the rock.


This shot gives you an idea of the lava flow.


This is only the empty shell of a growing Sally Lightfoot Crab, they exit their whole outer shell.


Lorna along the shoreline.


A small lagoon.


As we circled back to the shore these bones of a small whale have been laid out.  Oh but wait there is more ... the skull is not from a whale but a dolphin.


Returning to the ship for lunch we were treated to a lunch of traditional Ecuador food.  The dessert was tomato fruit.  It was sweet but delicious.


Lunch was set out for us, with a starter of a cold shell fish soup, you eat it with pop corn.


Before our afternoon coastal run there was some time to snorkel.


Another shot of some of the group exploring the shallow waters.  Sea Turtles and Penguins swam by.


Our afternoon exploration of the coast.


Some of the group as we explored the cove.


A sea Turtle popping up to see what’s going on.  This image was shot by Sandi Spaulding.  Great shot Sandi.


Another shot by Sandi Spaulding of a Star Fish.


Galapagos Penguins catching the sun. Another shot by Sandi Spaulding.


More Penguins, image by Sandi Spaulding.


A Blue Footed Booby.


Pelican fishing along the shoreline.


An American Oyster Catcher, this shot was taken by Michelle Rondeau.  Thanks Michelle.


Another Galapagos Penguin shot by Sandi Spaulding.


Calling out for it’s mate ...


More flightless Cormorants, notice the two babies.


This was the first sign of something a little further out a sea.  There she blows ...


The mist from the whales blow hole.


The next series are a few tale shots as the whales breached out of the water. This was amazing.


As we got closer the Humpback whales kept jumping.


Tail up ...


Going deep.


Ready for the splash.


There it is ...


Ok one more ...


Not as high in the air for the larger whale.


The sidelight adds to the shot.  The driver of our zodiac made every effort to work the boat so the light was in our favour.


One more tail shot.  


A panoramic shot of Darwin Lagoon.  We climbed up approx 100 steps to look down into Darwin Lagoon.  Centuries ago, sea travellers made this landing in search of fresh water.


Tonight as we crossed the equator the Captain invited all of us to the bridge to get a shot of the GPS is it hit 000.000.  Thanks to Bonnie Guthrie for the shot.


What an exciting day, we were lucky to see the whale again from our ship and for about forty minutes the captain follow him as he feed off a school of fish.  Another great Galapagos Day.


The light blue line shows tonights long navigation route.  We are headed for a morning landing on the small island of Bartolme, we will be climbing the 500 steps to the top of this volcanic rock.  More images and stories tomorrow.



Please add a comment

Posted by Michelle Rondeau on
What great shots! Thanks for posting all of these James; it so much fun reliving this adventure via the photos and narrative.