In a world older and more complete than ours, animals move finished and complete, gifted with the extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.

- Henry Beston

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Day 6: Friday May 19, 2000
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This morning, an easy stroll among the lava pools of Puerto Egas. Impressive lava formations carved by the pounding surf. American Oyster Catchers and the elusive fur seal are the notable sightings. More swimming and (for some) snorkeling. This is also the site of an abandoned salt mine, which was unable to compete with the mainland.


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I spend an amazing twenty minutes sitting six feet away from an unconcerned lava heron, getting a front row seat for some impressive feeding behavior. His skill at nailing the small black crabs is outstanding—he must be averaging two or three crabs a minute for most of the time I watch him.


click once for larger imageAll this while, I’m listening to the sounds of a dozing sea lion colony echoing from within a nearby grotto. An odd clicking noise we later conjecture to be the sound of nursing pups. Plus the usual burps grunts and sneezes. A sea lion snoozing on a raised ledge allows me to get literally face to face, inches away, before she snorts a warning. I back off to a safe distance of about a foot-and-a-half, and she promptly goes back to sleep.

click once for larger imageI muse, not for the first time, that if the sea lions were a little bit less unconcerned by our presence, it might be easier to get a picture of one with its eyes open.

I beg off the afternoon landing, as it seems mostly of interest to the snorkeling set. Lynda goes, and manages to get up close and personal with some jellyfish, raising some nasty welts on her forearm which she is proud to display. This incident also makes the written (if not the photographic) record.

Also of note on the afternoon beach landing is some sea lion behavior involving a pup being prevented from entering the ocean, presumably for its own protection, by an adult who accomplishes this by sitting on the pup. The pup is apparently not pleased by this act of baby-sitting, and there is much ado.


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I divide my free time this afternoon between napping and lounging on Lido deck with a book and a drink. I regret nothing. The others return in due course, and Lynda updates her journal (mine was abandoned around day 3).

Day 6 (recap)
07:30 breakfast
08:00 San Salvador Island (Puerto Egas) - wet landing
11:30 return to ship
12:30 lunch
13:30 film on Galapagos Islands
15:30 Rábida Island - wet landing
18:30 return to ship
19:30 briefing on tomorrow’s visits to Floreana and Santa Cruz Islands
20:00 dinner
21:30 live music and dancing (or off to bed)
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