The last 5 days, I lived aboard a beautiful sailing catamaran in the Galapagos and I’m not even sure how to describe all the incredible things I saw. Every day was filled with gorgeous new marine and land creatures. Probably the best way to share is to continue with another picture dump of awesome animals! (As always, there are probably mistakes in my species identification.)
ISLA SEYMOUR NORTE
This island is all about the birds! I booked this day trip just so I could see that crazy red-puffed up chest which the frigate bird is doing to attract females.
top (l to r): male magnificent frigate (inflating chest), male magnificent frigate sitting with new chick (maybe a week old), land iguana
bottom (l to r): juvenile great frigate, juvenile magnificent frigate, blue footed booby
ISLA SANTA CRUZ
Before the boat set sail, I did a little exploring on Isla Santa Cruz on my own.
top (l to r): polychaete worms, bullseye pufferfish, sponge, sea cucumber (with poop)
middle (l to r): hard coral, lava lizard, ground finch, Galápagos dove
bottom (l to r): me being silly, juvenile turtles at the breeding center at the Charles Darwin Research Center, posing with Santa Cruz land tortoise (in a reserve), Santa Cruz land tortoise
Everything from here on out is from the cruise! Most of these places you can’t see unless you book a cruise ship. It’s expensive, but there are no words to express the beauty of the western Galápagos Islands.
top (l to r): Isabela marine iguana, Galápagos flamingo, lava heron, lava cactus
bottom (l to r): Isabela land tortoise (in the wild), Isabela land iguana, iguana vs turtle faceoff (guess who moved? answer at bottom), me with a land iguana
top (l to r): sea anemone, spotfin burrfish, octopus, polychaete worms
bottom (l to r): Panamic cushion star, yellow sponge, gorgonia corals, giant porcupine fish
top (l to r): swimming marine iguana, marine iguana eating algae (yes, underwater), baby Galápagos sea lion, Galápagos sea lion sunning itself
bottom (l to r): Sally lightfoot crab eating a squid, blue-striped sea slug, Galápagos penguin, flightless cormorant
One of the few places on earth you can actually swim with penguins.
top (l to r): female Galápagos fur seal (which is actually a sea lion not a seal), baby Galápagos fur seal (right before it vomited), yellow-crowned night heron, cushion sea star middle (l to r): green sea turtle, guinea pufferfish (mid-color transition), Moorish idol angelfish, king angelfish bottom (l to r): sea anemone, polychaete worms, barnacle, me snorkeling!
The Galápagos is truly one of the most incredible places I have ever been in my entire life. Shout out to the amazing crew and guide on our boat as well as sharing the last few days with great company. This is one place I would love to come back to. There is still so much more to see!
Answer: The land iguana moved out of the land tortoise’s way!