We start our last full day in the Galapagos on the island of Santiago. We landed at Puerto Egas on the northwest side on a foggy overcast morning a little after six.
On the short ride over to our landing there was a mini feeding frenzy with a bunch of pelicans fighting over breakfast. This juvenile was really getting on the adults’ nerves. Maybe he mistook his head for breakfast!
In the 1960’s there was a salt mine very close to our landing. It was owned by a fellow named Hector Egas, thus the name of this little “port”. It was a short walk up and over to a shoreline of rough volcanic rock.
The Sally Lightfoot crabs which seemed to be everywhere, the one on the bottom finding his own little pool.
As we have found, everywhere, over the last two weeks, there is an incredible variety of wildlife, and you don’t have to look for them, because they will find you!
The most interesting part of this rocky beach is what they call the grotto. Seawater finds its way in under the rocks and provides a perfect place for the sea lions and fur seals to rest away from the sea. It’s hard to tell from this photo but there is a natural bridge across from one side to the other just behind and to the right of the fur seal. It looked like an aquarium with all the tropical fish swimming around in there.
A tiny version of the grotto with water filling from underground lava tunnels then suddenly draining away. As the sea and tide rise and fall, this hole looks and sounds like a toilet flushing! When I was looking some things up, I saw it in an article, referred to as “Darwin’s Toilet”!
Saved the best for last. This was one of the very few times we saw any fur seals. They are a close relative to the sea lions, and the smallest of the otariids, eared seals. Their ears are a little more pronounced and they have a small button nose. They get their name from their coat which is much thicker than the sea lions. Those big eyes help them with hunting as they feed at night. Also allows them to keep a sharp eye out for sharks!
We spent a pretty long time at Puerto Egas, so when we returned to the Samba, we immediately left on our navigation to Rabida, just a few hours south, for an afternoon landing.