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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador: Baroness Lookout and Post Office Bay, Floreana; Devil's Crown (near Floreana); Cormorant Point (near Floreana) 

Good news. Neither of us was sick last night. Robin was pretty cheerful this morning when he woke up to no nausea. The patch, pill and wristband seem to be working.

Baroness Lookout
We had a few stops today but all on the same island of Floreana. The first stop was Baroness Lookout and that has a story all by itself. Apparently the island was inhabited over 100 years ago but it was a place for prisoners who did not stay very long. Then in the 1930’s a German dentist decided that he wanted to live someplace where there were no people but his wife did not so he found himself a mistress who thought his idea was a good one and he moved with him to Floreana but not before he also convinced her that their teeth may give them problems later so he extracted hers and his and made one set of false teeth that they shared. Now I don’t know if this is an urban legend but this is what Omar told us. Later on another family joined them and the child of the second family is still living on the island and owns a small hotel (this is only one of 4 of the chain of islands that is inhabited). The island has about 120 people but we did not see any of them.

We stopped here to see the sunrise at Baroness Lookout where apparently a Baroness and her three Ecuadorian man servants moved here in the 1930’as well to set up a business for tourists who might arrive here. The long and short of the story is that her man servants became her lovers and so did the first German man. She called each of them by one, two, three or four whistles. One day she was found dead and so was her German lover. The man servants were never found again. So that’s the story about Baroness Point.







We went back to the yacht for a 7am breakfast of fried eggs, bread, corn flakes, fruit, granola, yogurt and coffee/tea while the captained sailed for another 10 minutes to the next stop.

Post Office Bay, Floreana
At 8:15am we got off at Post Office Bay which also has a story. Apparently during the time of the buccaneers and pirates, they would leave letters for their families and any passing ship that stopped there for water would take the mail to the mainland which would eventually make its way to Europe or whatever destination it was supposed to go to. Nowadays the tradition is that if you leave a letter or postcard at the post office box at the bay, you are supposed to check to see if there is any mail you can take with you to deliver in person. I found 4 letters – two from Winnipeg, one from East Selkirk and one from West Fargo. They were only left there last week. Some postcards have been there for years and will say DO NOT DELIVER because the writer intends to come back for them. I intend to deliver each of them. Imagine the surprise on the people’s faces when I show up with their post cards! I also left two post cards – one for Sahana and Sabreena and one for Izabel and Ronin. I hope someone delivers it to them someday. We took a group picture to remember each other and this day and went off to the beach. We sat on the beach for an hour or so while the crew and some of the passengers played soccer on the beach and some went snorkeling. On the way back to the yacht, we saw some penguins swimming which is unusual. They are around but not plentiful so we were lucky to see any.















Devil’s Crown
It was back to the yacht for a half an hour for some and then they went off to snorkel at Devil’s Crown which is a rocky formation seemingly in the middle of nowhere. I didn’t go because the water was rough and cold and the current strong so even with a life jacket, I would not have felt confident. The snorkelers stayed out for about an hour but in the meantime, the captain sighted a fishing net with a GPS still attached. These are used by commercial fishermen and they are not allowed to fish within a 40 mile radius of the islands. If their nets happen to drift into the 40 mile radius, they are not allowed to retrieve it or they can be fined very heavily. So the crew went out and picked up the net (which also had a long drag which sea turtles can get caught in and die) and the GPS. The GPS was covered in small marine life because there was an assortment of them clinging to the unit. He can sell the GPS back to the ship that lost it or to other boats that may need one. A new one is about USD$8,000. This used one may net them (pardon the pun) several hundred dollars.





The snorkelers came back and we had a delicious lunch of fried chicken, rice, creamy mashed potatoes, broccoli, carrots and fresh pineapple for dessert. Soon after that we headed off to Cormorant Point.

Cormorant Point
We landed on Cormorant Point and as soon as I stepped on the beach (this was called the green beach because the minerals found in the sand surrounding the area makes sand shimmer a light green in the sunshine), I saw the most unusual shell. The best I could do was take a picture because we are not allowed to remove anything from the island. Omar said that he might not see us doing it but when we go to the airport, the security people will check for just about anything – a rock, a shell, a plant – and if they find anything, they’ll fine you heavily. So the picture will have to suffice for my grand babies. We walked through a trail and found a similar shell with green shades on the beach known as the white sand beach. These beaches are within ½ km of each other and have totally different sand. We also saw a blue heron (bluish feathers) and two American Oyster Catcher birds (black with bright red beaks). I have not seen so many species of birds as I have here. Charles Darwin must have been in evolution heaven.









We sailed at 2pm for Santa Cruz Island and the water was so rough that my attempts to take a beautiful sunset picture only resulted in very lopsided pictures each time so I am posting them as I took them. This will give you some idea of 5 hours of sailing. The dolphin we sighted made up for the rough waters. It was about 10 feet long and was totally putting on a show for us.







All of the pictures were taken holding the camera in the same spot. It looks like a drunken sailor took them but I was very sober. This is how I would probably take a sunset picture on land if I was a drinker. Enjoy.
sandra 

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