After leaving Barrington Bay, we navigated Northwest to the eastern shore of Santa Cruz. Located just off shore are North Plaza and South Plaza. We anchored between the two and made our landing on South Plaza.
Lots of prickly pear cactus and red carpetweed as you can tell by the picture. This area has the largest of the prickly pear cactus in the islands, almost like trees, some as tall as 35 feet on Santa Cruz. The six varieties of prickly pear, Optunia, are endemic to the islands and provide food for much of the wildlife.
But the fun part of this landing was the abundance of the winged wildlife cruising on the wind currents above the cliffs. The cliffs weren’t as high as those on Espanola but served as nesting areas for the swallow-tailed gulls and the tropic birds.
These guys were the highlight of this landing. Tons of them just soaring above the cliffs, landing right below us in their nesting spots. I took way too many photos on this day. Trying to capture these quick moving birds was challenging but loads of fun!
So enjoy a few more!!
Believe me when I tell you, there’s so many more!!
As you can see in most of these photos, we were actually shooting down most of the time.
And it wouldn’t be right to not see at least one of the iguanas!
This gives you a good idea of the coastal landscape. Dramatic wherever we went!
After a long afternoon on South Plaza, we headed back to the Samba to start our long journey north to Genovesa, which was where we spent our first full day in the Galapagos almost two weeks ago!