First thing this morning we were on our flight from Quito to San Cristobal, our first island of the Galapagos. Once we arrived, we waited in a short line to pay the national park fee, received a stamp in our passports and found our tour guide waiting outside for us.
We all piled into the bus they had ready for us and went directly to the pier. The pier was busy when we arrived…there were little blue panga boats going back and forth between the docks and the ships. We jumped in one and were escorted to our yacht called the Eric.
Once on board, the 20 passengers and 2 tour guides sat in the main room and we all introduced ourselves. The rest of the crew also came in to introduce themselves. The guides discussed expectations and itineraries for the week. The first thing on the itinerary started within the next hour…we were going snorkeling on the island of Playa Ochoa. It was the beach where Charles Darwin first stepped foot in 1835.
We all picked out our wetsuits, fins and snorkel gear supplied by the ship. The ship docked and we piled back into the panga boats in order to get to the island for snorkeling. The beach itself had white sand with seals laying lazily under a tree. They were quite comfortable with people walking close by to take their picture. The snorkeling wasn’t so great…we saw some random fish but nothing out of the ordinary.
After a short walk on the beach, we took a panga back to our cruise. We got showered, changed and went up to the top deck where we would soon be at what they call, Leon Dormido or Kicker Rock. This massive rock was so steep, we could not dock even with a panga boat but, because it was a big nesting area for sea birds, we were able to take pictures and use binoculars to see all the activity on the rock.
The sun was setting and cast beautiful colors in the horizon, it was a great first evening. After snapping some pictures, we all went downstairs to eat dinner. Giff’s mom wasn’t feeling so great, the boat was a bit rocky and she decided to skip dinner and get to bed early. She really didn’t miss much as dinner wasn’t so great…it was about equal to an airplane meal, but it is only the first night so maybe it will get better as the week goes on…? We all finished with our tea and decided to get to bed as well, tomorrow we have to wake up at 6AM.