Our parts arrived very quickly in Panama City, thanks to Maria and Cathy. As we knew we would have at least another week waiting for them to be brought to us via another cruiser, Ian and I decided to have a few days on a cruise ship exploring some of the islands we couldn’t get to on Sea Cloud. We left JoAnne and Bill with Sea Cloud and caught the ferry to Santa Cruz where we joined the cruise. ship Santa Cruz II for 4 wonderful days of being looked after, eating very well, meeting interesting people and seeing the most amazing places full of wildlife.
The highlight of Bacchas Beach on Santa Cruz Island was a nesting turtle slowly coming out of the water and then digging her nest.
A panga trip on Santiago Island was great for bird spotting. Snorkelling along the coastline we saw abundant reef fish, a manta ray and black tipped reef sharks
On our early morning walk to Rabida Island we spotted the elusive Galapagos hawk and their favourite food, the lava lizard. Mating rays were spotted in the path of our kayak trip along the coastline.
While snorkelling on Bartholome Island we spotted a group of penguins, quite a treat as there haven’t been as many around this year in the other islands.
A sunset walk to the peak of the island was spectacular.
Genovese Island was an unexpected gem. The rocky barren top of the island is a favourite for nesting red footed and nazcar boobies, frigate birds. The birds and chicks are so unafraid as we wandered along the paths between their nests.Frigate birds (“magnificent” and “great”) showing the red pouch and full courtship display!
Back in San Cristobal, we enjoyed the surf competition at La Loberia beach, then the walk along the spectacular headland.
After a few days our parts finally arrived, thank you Shawnigan! We set sail for Isabela Island where we spent a few days. We had a very hot but enjoyable cycle to the Wall of Tears – a pointless wall built by prisoners in the 1950s.
Large tortoises could be spotted along the side of the road, lazily resting and eating in the shade of the bushes and the picnic shelter.
It was iguana breeding time on Isabela, masses of tiny iguanas could were seen on the beachfront bar opposite the Booby Trap Bar, the yachties watering hole owned by local agent James.
All of our friends had raved about the Los Tuneles tour. It didn’t disappoint. We had the opportunity to swim with turtles, many black tipped sharks and to see a seahorse. We swam through and then walked on the stunning lava formations. The highlight was seeing a blue footed booby performing his mating dance.
We sailed back to Santa Cruz Island for last minute provisioning, experiencing the fish market and diving at Nth Seymour.
The Los Kioskos street of fish restaurants was our favourite haunt – we needed a few restaurant meals before our long passage to the Marquesas.
We were very sad to say farewell JoAnne and Bill who were heading to mainland Ecuador then back to Panama. We had such a fun time with them!