Galapagos: ultimate nature adventure, day 7

By Ian Connellan 8 November 2013
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Watching penguins and snorkelling with rays and huge schools of fish is the order of the day.

Day 7AG editor Ian Connellan tours the Galápagos Islands, off the coast of South America.

our last full day aboard and, with Floreana Island as a backdrop, watch crew members busy washing San Jose’s hull and pangas.

We’re out early in the pangas and immediately see three Galápagos penguins feeding. By now such intimate wildlife encounters seem routine, and the morning’s panga cruise is punctuated by turtle and sea-lion sightings.

We go ashore at Post Office Bay, so named for the long-established practice of people leaving mail in a barrel for passing ships to carry away. These days, of course, it’s a tourist game – if you find a letter written to someone who lives near your home you take it and hand-deliver it.

From the beach near the “post office” we snorkel and have our best encounters yet with feeding sea turtles – but only after running the gauntlet of stingrays in the shallows.

After lunch we dip in again for the trip’s snorkelling highlight: a lap of Devil’s Crown – the remnant of a volcanic crater that’s washed by strong currents, surrounded by deep water, and literally swimming in rays, pipefish, and huge schools of fishes.

Later we take a walk at Punta Cormorant, where there’s a brackish lagoon that, until recently, had hosted flamigos (there’s been no sign of them for about six months, says Roberto).

It’s a warm, bright afternoon and our walk’s punctuated by lots of chatter and laughter about Floreana’s colorful history, which includes a rousing share of drunks, crooks, despots and murderers. Our last sunset aboard San Jose is near perfect, ideal for our farewell cocktails with the crew, and after dinner there’s a special last-night cake for dessert.

Read more blogs in the Galápagos series

Find out more about the next Peregrine/AG trip with Ian Connellan to see Borneo’s orangutans.