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Isabela Island, Galapagos

Had a wake-up call for 6:15 to view the ship going around Roca Redonda - a huge rock outcropping in the middle of the ocean. It is the top of an extinct volcano and the feeding site for hundreds of seabirds. Bottle-nose dolphins played in our bow wake. After breakfast we crossed the equator. Then we got into zodiaks for a ride around Volcan Ecuador on Isabela Island. Isabela Island is the largest island in the Galapagos and has 5 of the biggest volcanos. Volcan Equador is one of the most impressive as it was sliced in half by wave action. Penguins swimmingThis was our first sighting of the Galapgos Penguin - the only Penguin found in the northern hemisphere. (See Penguin Photo Gallery for additional photos and information on the Galapagos Penguin.)

Galapagos PenguinThen we went snorkeling and watched a school of penguins feeding underwater - they were like torpedos zooming along. A school of Golden Eagle Rays swam underneath us and a marble sting ray. Saw lots of Sea Turtles and a giant mola-mola or Sunfish. You'll have to come visit us to see the underwater video of our snorkeling sightings! (The cocktail of the day was the Penquin - a lemon daquiri concoction.)

Fernandina Island, Galapagos

Our afternoon excursion was to Fernandina Island. This is the westernmost island and one of the youngest ones. It is also the most volcanically active island in the world. The last eruption was in May, 2005. Much of the island is composed of new lava with no vegetation. It is probably the world's largest pristine island, that is, all the plants and creatures arrived here naturally or evolved in place.Marine Iguanas There is a huge colony of marine iguanas on the island. Hundreds of them are piled on lava rock. Since they blended into the lava, we had to be careful not to step on them as we walked around.Pile of Marine Iguanas







We also made our first sighting of the Flightless Cormorant. Flightless CormorantThis the rarest bird on the islands. It is the only cormorant in the world that lost its ability to fly. Since they had no predators on land and there was plenty of food in the sea, they had no need for wings. They nest on cliffs closer to the water's edge. Underwater they use their powerful legs to propel themselves through the water.




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