We're a bit behind on the blog due to a flooded basement back home and a lousy cold that I have developed.
I've not been able to figure out what is ailing the blog, but there are some work arounds. If you don't care about the gadgets (SPOT, weather, commenting etc.) just open the blog a read away. If you want the gadgets (i.e. SPOT) type SPOT in the search box at the upper left corner of the blog page and all gadgets will be active. I have no idea why this is so, but if I get a fix will do it ASAP (I do have an idea, but have not been able to confirm it yet).
On to the Galapagos. Our flight was delayed for five hours out of Quito to Isla San Cristobal due to fog, but we didn't miss any meals! Breakfast at 1500 on the plane, and lunch at 1800 and dinner at 2100 on the boat. We were promptly met at the airport and transported to the Eric with the other 18 passengers. It was a mixed bag of nationalities and ages from the USA, Canada, England, Scotland, and Australia. All of our meals were taken on board and one of the fun parts of the cruise was eating with different people every meal as each table was set for just four. Similar to our Antarctic cruise last year, this group had a great wealth of travel experience and we shared past travels with each other as we all added to our lists of "must see" places.
I am going to let the pictures and videos do most of the talking about the cruise. We used pangas (like small Zodiacs) for our two-a-day shore landings (wet and dry). Our two naturalists/guides, Janet and Karina, were very well informed on all aspects of the flora, fauna, and geology of the islands; we learned much on every outing. The 10:1 passenger to guide ratio was very good as one did not get lost at the back of the pack (16 pax/guide is the maximum and with the bigger ships the groups are a bit unwieldy). The Parque Nacional Galapaagos strictly controls who goes where and when on the islands. As a result, even if there was another vessel moored near us we rarely saw other tourists on the islands. Probably a logistical nightware, but good for us and the Galapgos environment.
We saw albatross, hawks, owls, boobies, penguins, iguanas, giant tortoises and lots of sea lions just to mention some lf the fauna. Please note that I was using a small point and shoot camera with a short zoom; this will give you an appreciation of how close we could get to the birds and animals. We had an official 2 meter rule, but often times animals would approach us and walk by as though we were invisible.
The Alpha Ramblers Made It!
Our Sister Vessel, the Letty
Sea Lion Pup
Darwin Lake and Tagus Cove
Frigate Bird A-Courting
They Can Move
Hanging Out in the Mudhole
Returning to the Eric
Sea Lions (about 400 on the beach)
Sea Lion Cub Race
Towel Art in the Cabin
Great Paint Job
That's all for now folks. Next stop the equator (La Mitad del Mundo).