Saturday, February 12, 2011


• The sounds of the sea lions squawking at one another

• The sight of sea lions crawling/jumping onto boats in the harbor to sun bathe

• The Darwin Foundation and the good it is doing to rebuild the tortoise population and to maintain the natural beauty of the islands

• Seeing the tracks of the sea turtles on Tortuga Beach as they make their way toward to the sand dunes to lay their eggs

• Washing ourselves and spraying our shoes/feet after each beach stop so that no sand was transferred from one beach to another.

• The different colors of sand on the various beaches: red on Rabida, white on Bartolome, black on Santiago

• The mother/child bonds visible in the sea lions (see above pic)

• The sight of two tortoises doing their thing to help increase the tortoise population (takes about an hour of grunting and periodic bouncing)

• The poisonous blue pellets visible one per every square meter on Bartolome and Rabida Islands in an attempt to kill the rats

• The sound of helicopters and gunshots coming from an island in an attempt to kill the feral goats

• The marvelous variety of colors on the iguana and lizards

• Meeting the Grants from Princeton who have not only traced evolution on one island but have also learned to predict future genetic changes in the finch population based on weather patterns

• Learning that temperature during tortoise egg incubation determines the sex of the turtle: 29.5 degrees begets a female; 28 degrees begets a male, and understanding how fragile life can be

• Learning that people hang their backpacks on trees at the beach so that ants don’t crawl in

• Being amazed at the long length of the beaks on some of the smaller birds (finches, mockingbirds, hummingbirds)

• Being amazed at the colors present on some of the birds – blue-footed boobies, for example (no comment about all the caps and t-shirts saying "I love boobies" with a picture of the blue-footed boobie)

• Having a glass of wine with our friends on the upper deck of the cruise ship – utter bliss.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmhmm...All this talk of baby turtle has gotten me hungry!


    1. Why must you NOT transfer sand among Galapagos beaches?

    2. And will you please post similar biological, evolutionary, geological blogs on the Amazon?

    Hope you catch and feast on Amazonian piranhas -- and they don't feast on you!