Ecuador's Galapagos Islands - 2003

lava lizard would strike at it but perhaps it was just too big because he never even tried. Once I saw him leap upon something on the sand and chew it up and swallow it down. Little tide pools in the lava platforms contained little fish, small urchins and even barnacles. Algae were also present so we weren’t surprised to see some grazing marine iguanas. The round pools must have been ground into the lava by sand erosion created by the wave action. It seemed like the tiny fish would make for easy fishing for the pelicans and the boobies, but they never seemed to pay any attention to the tide pools even when they landed near them. We had to “face the burning sand” when we hiked back over the dune to get to the opposite beach and some of our fellow tourists were not happy in their bare feet. We were happy to have our shoes on. The 10:45 a.m. glass bottom boat was leaving just as we arrived so we hurried to get on. Luckily, the motor was in much better working order this time, but our undersea viewing was not nearly as interesting. We saw large stretches of undersea bottom with no fish or turtles or rays or anything to watch. Finally we came upon an urchin “garden” and a starfish “farm” with many of those critters to view. Both were quite a bit larger than any others we have seen. Later we saw a shark and a sea turtle swim rapidly under the boat, escaping our sight almost immediately. We had planned to go swimming after the boat ride, but by the time we arrived back on the golden circlet of beach, our time had run out and we had to return to the Polaris without ever getting wet! The early afternoon was filled with video tours—first, we visited the engine room on film and next the galley. A good idea since both are rather small areas and would be very crowded by all the folks who were interested in seeing them. Next was a promotional video by Lindblad, touting the cruise to the Ice Bears. We watched that one with great interest, particularly noting what folks were wearing and how cold they seemed. The folks on that August trip had seen 30 bears. Hope we are as lucky in July.

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