The Galapagos Islands Sunday 30 September 2012 Isla Floreana: Post Office Bay/Mirador de la Baronesa AM Punta Commorant/Devils Crown PM

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Today we started early and walked a small distance up to a viewing platform on the Island of Floreana. We were regaled with the colourful stories of the lives of some of the early European and Ecuadorian settlers here. One in particular was interesting – that of the Baroness who had two European and one Eucadorian lover. The island itself was quite desolate looking, and it was interesting to note that there was not an abundance of wildlife like some of the other islands we have visited that have not had human inhabitation.

We went back on board for breakfast and then returned to the island to go to Post Office Bay. Here a number of us posted postcards in the island’s post box. This place has been used for centuries by sailors as the dropping off point of mail. The system works by each individual leaving whatever mail they wish sent to their home, and then the next passerby checks over the items left by previous visitors. If there is mail for someone in the area the next person will be travelling to, they take the item(s) and hand deliver it to the recipient. I posted a postcard to Mum and Dad so it will be interesting to see how long it takes to reach them. I took a note that is for someone in Otavalo, the next town we will visit after we leave Quito on our return to the mainland.

Our next activity was some snorkelling off a beach on Floreana. The water wasn’t super clear but we all saw a green turtle. As the visibility wasn’t the greatest I decided to do some laps along the beach instead for about 45 minutes, which was nice and whilst I was swimming another green turtle swam past in an area that had great visibility so I swam around after it for a while too. Most of the others spent the time snoozing on the beach.

Our next snorkelling location was at a place called the Devils Crown. It was a group of black rocks in the ocean that formed a shallow bay in the middle – the crown. This was a very enjoyable snorkelling experience as it was different to a lot of the others we had done. The ocean was a bit rough that day so not as many of the other passengers went out. There were a lot of very large and brightly coloured star fish in the water which I have not seen a lot of previously. There were some sharks on the ocean floor and Antonio (one of the crew) would swim deep down and stir them up so we could watch them dart away. It is quite impressive how deep he can dive and how long he can stay underwater! At the end of our snorkelling session Ciaran, Mel, Antonio and I swam back to the boat. Jo joined us a little further on when she got dropped off by Daniel in the dingy.

In the afternoon we walked to Cormorant Bay which is a pretty beach with white sand and aqua water. There was the usual supply of Sally Lightfoot crabs and sea lions. The sight that captured us the most though was the large school of sting rays that lay on the ocean floor near the water’s edge. They moved up and down the sand in rhythm with the waves. I must have taken over 100 photos in an effort to capture the spectacle but I am not sure that the pictures illustrate just how good it looked at the time.

We then got back on board for the long boat ride to Santa Cruz to enjoy a late dinner on board as we docked in the bay. It would be the last night for a number of our fellow passengers as they will be leaving the next day.

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