Friday, September 3, 2010

Galapagos Expedition | Day 1

Baltra Island: Bachas Beach.

After an uneventful flight from Quito to Baltra Island, we boarded the Daphne... a 70-foot yacht and our home for the next ten days. Once onboard, we were given our room assignments and an emergency drill. In an emergency, the crew would ring the same bell they rang for meals, island tours and whale sightings. When the first meal bell rang, I wasn’t sure whether to grab my lifejacket, backpack, binoculars, or appetite.

Our first island visit involved getting everyone safely aboard the panga with lifejackets on. This was our first wet landing experience. We had a quick lesson in how to disembark from the panga onto a beach without getting completely soaked (or without soaking our camera gear). With waves lapping at the boat and pushing it onto the beach, this is harder than it sounds.

Sally Lightfoot crabs creep sideways along the lava rocks at the water’s edge on Bachas Beach...

sally lightfoot crab

sally lightfoot crab

sally lightfoot

This last image is actually a shed Sally Lightfoot crab exoskeleton. Crabs have an exoskeleton that they shed as they grow. Live Sallys are very brightly colored, but their shed exoskeletons are even brighter.

Bachas Beach, Galapagos

The light was about perfect when we spotted a group of about 15 flamingoes feeding in the water...

Galapagos pink flamingo

Galapagos pink flamingo

This was a nice, relaxing introduction to the Galapagos Island life.

Galapagos pink flamingo

Galapagos pink flamingo

Galapagos pink flamingo

Galapagos flamingo

Iz couldn’t resist taking a dip in the ocean after our tour of Bachas Beach...

swimming at Bachas Beach, Galapagos

swimming at Bachas Beach, Galapagos

Observation of the day... salt water stings when it gets in your eyes.

It doesn’t taste very good either.


Susan said...

Yeah, what is up with the stinging salt water! Why don't tears sting our eyes? Age-old question, I guess.

Those flamingo shots are just spectacular! Especially the one with its head tucked under. Love the crab, too.

Cindy said...

and why doesn't saline solution sting?

I loved the crabs. Some were very shy, others held their ground while I photographed them. Their sideways walk cracks me up.

Anonymous said...

I wanna go on a Galapagos diving cruise, do you know how is it like?? I say it becouse of the salt water!!!