Rabida Island

We wake up to a little cloud cover which burns off quickly. We have sailed overnight to Rabida Island where we have our first wet landing on a red sandy beach. We set off in our four groups with our naturalist guides, and have soon spotted a female vermillion flycatcher. This is quite rare as these birds have been in decline over recent years. After watching the flycatcher at close proximity for some time, we continue along the trail and see cactus finches, frigate birds, oystercatchers in flight, and two Galápagos hawks sitting on the rocks just waiting to be photographed. After around two hours on the circular trail, we head back to find sea lions on the beach, before we return to our ship, M/V Eclipse. After "welcome back snacks", we try on snorkelling gear – and with wetsuits, fins and masks all donned, we head back to the beach for our first foray into the underwater world of the Galápagos. Those who have snorkelled before are soon heading off exploring the fish. And those of us who haven’t or just need a reminder, are soon in the water trying out the equipment. We soon get the hang of it. Other folk joined a kayaking expedition and find sea turtles, sea birds and sea lions. It’s soon time to head back for lunch, but we've had a fabulous morning in the Galápagos.

After time for a siesta we head off for our afternoon landing. The ship had repositioned to Santiago Island and specifically Puerto Egas. We follow a circular trail which takes us both inland and along the coastline. We are rewarded with many sea birds: whimbrels, ruddy turnstones, plovers, sandpipers, oystercatchers. Plus some of Darwin's finches, yellow warblers and mocking birds. At the half-way point of the trail we manage to spot the Galápagos fur seal – a different species of sea lion. It feeds at night and is relatively inactive during the daytime, so we manage to see them sleeping on rocky shelves above the tidal pools. We also see many sea lions, some babies who were suckling from their mothers, and some very noisy young males, trying to claim their territory. 

Back on board we all share experiences with our fellow travellers, show pictures, and get ready for our briefing about tomorrow's activities. Gilda entertains us with a presentation on the formation a geology of the Galápagos Islands. After dinner we make sure that we see the magnificent starry sky before we head for another early night. It’s been an active, but fantastic day in Galápagos!