Location: Galapagos

Today was a full day. We had to get up at around 5:30 am, which was extremely difficult for most of us because the night before, the boat was rocking from side to side for six hours as we moved from Santa Cruz to Isabela Island. Those of us on the top bunks had to hold on to the ceiling several times in the night because of the fear of being thrown off the bed onto the ground, but the day that we had today made up for last night. After a really good breakfast of eggs, toast, bananas, yogurt, and juice, we hopped in the dinghies and headed for a small, rocky island next to the boat. We circled a small piece of rock with about 20 blue-footed boobies, and then when we looked to the other side, we saw a penguin! After attempting to get a picture of the penguin (it was quite difficult because it was standing against black rocks, so you could just see the patch of white on its stomach), we got off onto an island where we saw young iguanas, some sea lions, and another penguin swimming around near our boat. We then drove a little farther to our snorkel destination, and one by one, we all jumped into the beautiful blue water to explore. The water was clear and shallow, so we were able to see very well. Before 9 am we had seen blue-footed boobies, penguins, Sally Lightfoot crabs, iguanas, sea lions, many kinds of fish, and starfish. After a short break on the boat, we went to the island of Isabela and took a path to get to another snorkel destination. The path was covered with sea lions that did not want to move for any tourist in their way. We made our way to a small dock where we entered an enclosed area that our boat driver later called una piscina natural’– a natural pool. We saw a lot of marine life here too, including a stingray, a sea turtle, and an iguana that swam on top of the water between our group. It passed right by Daisy’s head without her noticing and made its way out of the natural pool. After drying off, we hopped in a bus to explore the island. Our first stop was a lagoon filled with bright pink flamingos. The pink color is from the crustaceans that the flamingos eat. The babies are born white and the more they eat, the pinker they get. We then got back on the bus in the direction of the beach. The beach was beautiful”soft, white sand, tall palm trees, and rolling waves crashing onto black rocks and the white sand. A small group of us went immediately into a restaurant on the beach to find ice cream while others laid out in the sun. We found homemade popsicles at the restaurant”strawberries and cream was the best. The hostess took a picture of us, and when the popsicles had been devoured, we headed for the beach to swim in the waves. The water felt nice in the hot sun, and the waves were the perfect size to play in. We then went back to the boat for a fish, rice, and avocado lunch. Heading back to the island, we saw a boat taken over by huge sea lions sleeping in the shade of the top of the boat. A little penguin also had fun swimming around the dock underneath all of the boats. We then boarded a chiva, an open-air bus, to get to a place where we could see giant tortoises. We even got to see a baby about two months old. It was really tiny and super cute. After learning about these tortoises, we moved to a cave formed by lava. We walked through it with flashlights, but then the guide asked us to turn out all of the lights. It was so dark that I could not see my hand in front of my face. It was cool. The ceiling of the cave was also covered in a shiny, gold material. We made it out of the dark cave and headed back to the dock where we saw a family of sea lions run from the beach into the water. It was pretty funny because it was more of a waddle than a run. Dinner on the boat consisted of veggies, rice, and fried shrimp. The shrimp were so good, especially with the sauce that Elinor kept calling Yum-Yum sauce. After dinner, our guide told us the plan for the next day, and then we had a meeting where we discussed the differences in giving time and giving money concerning service work. We were all extremely tired and ready for bed by 8:00 pm, but about half of us had not showered by the time the boat started moving again. We decided to attempt showering while moving to our new destination, and soon discovered how difficult it is to do that. We all survived the showers and then immediately went to sleep at about 9:00 pm.