Floreana Island, also known as Charles and Santa Maria, is a peaceful, rolling island dotted with numerous volcanic cones amidst a variety of scrubby vegetation. It’s colourful history includes marooned whalers, a penal colony, a toothless dentist and a self-proclaimed empress! We start with a pre-breakfast landing at a point called Punta Cormorant. We do not find any cormorants! There is a brackish lake with some flamingos and we take a walk to a beautiful beach that is a favourite nesting site for green sea turtles.
Back on board for breakfast we reposition to a small offshore islet called Champion. Here we are seeking the Floreana Mocking Bird which was driven to extinction by cats, rats and other introduced species on the main island. We are successful. The islet is also home to colonies of Galapagos sea lions and we see numerous birds including the beautiful Red-Billed Tropic Bird and Swallow Tailed Gull. After an interesting circumnavigation in our zodiacs we return aboard and send our keen snorkelers to discover what’s below the water.
After lunch our Photo Instructor Juan Carlos helps with photography tips and cameras. He is busy! Later we visit Post Office Bay where a wooden barrel is still used for an old mail swap tradition going back to whaling days. We collect a few postcards to hand deliver to local UK addresses and deliver our own unstamped mail. We hope it will be delivered in due course.
From Post Office Bay we enjoy a panga ride or a round of kayaking.