Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Galapagos Expedition | Day 2

South Plazas Island and Santa Fe Island

Meet the Santa Fe land iguana...

land iguana

Santa Fe land iguana - Galapagos

A friendly looking guy isn’t he? They always look like they’re smiling at you.

We are on South Plaza Island, the southern partner of two small crescent-shaped islands that lie just a few hundred meters off the east coast of Santa Cruz. The northern island is used for scientific purposes only. No tourists allowed.

South Plaza is one of the smallest yet richest islands in the archipelago. Only 130 meters wide (426 feet), it was formed from uplifted seabed, giving it a titled tabletop quality. Our landing is in the channel between North and South Plaza, where the island tilts toward the water. Santa Fe, also called Barrington Island, is located in the central part of the Galapagos archipelago. It is one of the oldest Galapagos Islands, ages of its lavas range from 750,000 to nearly 3 million years. Santa Fe is also one of the few islands that is not volcanically active. There is no fresh water on the island so it has been relatively undisturbed by human activity and ferel animals.

sea lion and sally lightfoot crab

Someone must have notified the sea lions ahead of time that we’d be arriving. They were posing for us on the rocks when we got there...

Sea Lion on South Plazas Island, Galapagos

Sea Lion on South Plazas Island, Galapagos


Sea Lion on South Plazas Island, Galapagos

Galapagos sea lion

Some were sleeping...

Sea Lion on South Plazas Island, Galapagos

Galapagos baby sea lion

Some were nursing...

Galapagos sea lions

Some came right up to greet us...

Sea Lion on South Plazas Island, Galapagos

The Galapagos sea lions have a ton of personality. They have no predators around to interrupt their day. They are just happy, content pinnipeds.


Susan said...

I love that they have no natural predators there...they're so beautiful and curious. Loved the pic with the red and orange crab. What a spot of color!

Cindy said...

There are predators in the water... like sharks, but as long as they stay on land, the sea lions are pretty safe. They seem as though they haven't got a care in the world the way they lounge around on the beach.