Day 145: January 7, 2008 Baquerizo Moreno-Seymour
Trip Start Aug 15, 2007
202Trip End Mar 01, 2008
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I slept very well but apparently the boat rocked a lot. I never noticed, thinking it was a smooth crossing. We awoke at 7:30 and had breakfast at 8:00, anchored offshore of Black Turtle Cove on the north shore of Santa Cruz. After breakfast, we all got into the panga and headed for the cove, a place I had not been before. We entered the cove, passing blue-footed boobies and pelicans posing on the rocks.
The cove is a red mangrove swamp with quiet water and very little beach area. Tide was out, exposing the uppermost meter of the mangrove roots. It was absolutely beautiful. Several pairs of black sea turtles were mating in the calm water. We motored over to a small creek and cut the engine
We returned to the boat with the Daphne Islands in the background. As soon as we arrived we cruised for about 40 minutes up the west coast of Baltra. A bunch of us sat up top and were amused the whole way by seven frigate birds that flew with us the whole way, often within arm's reach at eye level. We arrived at Baltras Beach where the boat resupplied on fuel and water. While the some of crew did that, others went to the airport to successfully retrieve the lost baggage for Sharmi, Joyce, Jo Ann, and Danny. All of us went to the beautiful beach. About eight of us went snorkeling. This is where John Enz, Todd, and I played with sea lions for more than half an hour in June. Todd and I found some sea lions but they blew us off after just a couple of minutes and went up onto the beach. It was the first time I had snorkeled in the Galápagos without a wetsuit. It was great to be able to surface dive. The area was very diverse in species but there were few individuals of most types of fish
After awhile, I returned to where we had left our gear. I swam with a green sea turtle for about 50 m and then came up behind a marine iguana swimming for the jetty. Those things are fast! A mad puffer fish was sneaking up on people wading in the shallows and nipping them. He came after me and bit my fins but I just kicked him away.
We returned to the boat for lunch and then sailed north to Seymour Norte. I dozed for the 40-minute ride on my bunk. When we arrived, we went ashore with a dry landing and did a 2 km loop trail through the blue-footed booby and frigate bird rookery. We also saw numerous land iguanas, marine iguanas, lava lizards, and sea lions, all within a few meters of where we walked. The birds and animals paid little attention to us. The male blue-footed boobies performed the courtship dances. Most of the females still didn't look too interested. At the end of the trail, we had a beautidul view of Daphnes Mayor and Menor beyond the breaking surf, a nice beach with a boulder berm and a sea lion mother and pup in the foreground-a most idyllic setting.
We had to wait to reboard our panga because there were many other people from several other yachts wanting to do the same. I took a shower back onboard and then joined the others for a beer and talk until dinner. After dinner we had our briefing and then everyone retired to their cabins at 7:00 to prepare for the 9-hour voyage to Española. We got underway at about 9:00, expecting rough seas because we are traveling into the Southeast Trade Winds. I even took a dramamine, for the first time. I snuggled up into my bunk and read, allowing the rocking boat to lull me to sleep.