Juan Sebastian, aka "Sebastian" - "Hotel Manager" of the Islander, Sebastian was responsible for all of the passengers needs while on board the ship. Need an Internet card? See Sebastian. A/C not cooling properly? See Sebastian. Want to buy something? See Sebastian. Despite having one of the toughest jobs on board, this guy always had a smile on his face. I will miss his morning greetings over the Intercom: "Good Morning, my friends!"
Boobies - There are three species of boobies in the Galapagos: Blue-footed, Red-footed, and Nazca. The name "booby" most likely comes from Spanish sailors who were amused by their antics and funny-colored feet and called them "bobos" (clowns). They love to perch on raised hatches near the bow of boats, thus giving rise to the name "booby hatch." The Blue-footed boobies are renowned for their elaborate courtship dance, showing off their brightly colored feet and tilting their heads.
Sea Lion or Seal? - Although we all caught ourselves slipping and referring to the sea lions as seals, the naturalists taught us the differences early on. Sea lions have ears and use their front flippers for propulsion in the water and standing up on land. Seals do not have ears and cannot stand up on their front flippers. There are no seals in the Galapagos.
Day 5 - South Plaza and Santa Fe
What a difference a day makes! The next morning found us anchored off of the Plaza islands, which were the result of a geographic uplift of the sea floor that happened millions of years ago.
We took a circular walk around the island paying special attention to the brilliantly colored land iguanas. See the slide show below for photos of them and various birds:
When we reached the cliff top we witnessed something that the naturalists had never seen before and were very excited about: a land iguana catching and eating a Shearwater (bird). Iguanas are normally herbivores, so this was quite an unusual behavior. As the naturalists said, "The Galapagos are a living laboratory of evolution," and we may have witnessed a major shift. Here's a video as well as some photos of the event:
After our hike we were ready to hit the water for some snorkeling, and what a nice place it was to snorkel, just inside the rocky outcropping shown below.
Short and long hikes were offered in the afternoon but we opted to stay on board to catch up on email, back up photos, etc. We had been on the go constantly since our arrival and really needed some down time. What better way to spend it than sitting on the top deck and watching a beautiful sunset?