This morning we are visiting the north part of Santa Cruz Island. It is the second largest of the 13 islands forming the archipelago of Galapagos, and it has many visitor sites along its shoreline. In the morning we came to explore Dragon Hill. There are no dragons in Galapagos, but the land iguanas are called “little dragons.” We had a dry landing on some black volcanic rocks and beyond the rocks there was a sandy beach surrounded by green succulent shrubs known as sesuvium. There were some dormant trees in the foreground, and many mountains covered by a fine drizzle far in the background. It is November, nearing the end of the cold, dry season in Galapagos. But it is not ending yet; the day is warm and sunny, but the wind is still very cold.
Dragon Hill is an astonishing, multicolored place. This morning we had the opportunity to see many land iguanas along the trail, some of them basking under the sun for thermoregulation, and others eating the scarce food found there. Many finches were spotted by the palo santo trees, reminding us what Darwin saw 200 years ago to formulate his theory of natural selection.
Later we went to snorkel in the area, finding many multicolor fish, sharks, sea stars and sea lions. Then we returned to our ship to have lunch and get ready for the afternoon activities.
Around 3:00pm we visited Borrero Bay and offered to our guests two ways of exploring, on kayaks or by Zodiac. The tide was very low, and it was a perfect situation to see many kinds of sharks and rays swimming by the mangrove area. On rocks we found many blue footed boobies, frigates, herons and migratory birds, all of them fully active, fishing in many ways to survive. Then, we returned to our ship to circumnavigate a very famous islet called Daphne Major. Peter and Rosemary Grant, scientists form England, came here 40 years ago to follow in Charles Darwin’s footsteps and research finches. The result was amazing, they witnessed the fastest evolution on earth; it took just a few generations to see changes in finches beaks and buddy sizes.
We had a great time on the observation deck, enjoying an amazing sunset and a beautiful landscape around us.