After our very early morning navigation, we arrived at Santa Fe in time for breakfast. Our only landing here is at Barrington Bay.
We landed on the sandy beach where we had a large welcoming committee of, you guessed it, sea lions! Quite a few young ones doing a lot of playing around in the surf.
The Samba is on the right, the other boat is The Beagle, another tour boat that seemed to be following us around for much of the trip. Fortunately for us, we were almost always coming back from our excursion when they were just heading out!
We also ran into a couple of Galapagos Hawks, our second encounter of the trip. This time up close and personal.
So, he flew by, the first picture, then landed on this monument that’s between the beach and the cliffs, which is where we were headed. Everyone was excited to see him just sitting there, the only problem was we were looking directly into the sun. Bad sun angle for photographs! Juan had everyone stop where they were and walk by on the path one at a time, looking away from the hawk. He promised if we went by slowly enough the hawk wouldn’t move and he was right! Eleven people made it by very quietly and orderly, that in of itself was a small miracle, and had the chance to spend as much time as we wanted to make the photographs. Not tame, naive. No predators. No need to be scared. Now, if you move suddenly or make a move toward any of the wildlife, they will go. If you are slow, careful and respectful you will have great opportunities.
This was the second hawk we saw but this time it was over on the cliffs, away from the beach.
This was part of our crew photographing the land iguana in the first photo.
Very different landscape on the cliffs as opposed to our landing on the beach.
And this is what he thinks of all those nutty people taking pictures!
Our day wasn’t over yet, by a long shot. After lunch back on the boat, we navigated to a small group of islands off the east coast of Santa Cruz and landed on South Plaza. We’ll pick up this story tomorrow!