Galapagos, Fernandina

"After lunch, we cross the Bolivar Canal and disembark at Punta Espinoza, FERNANDINA. Located in the western part of the archipelago, Fernandina is the youngest and most pristine Island found in Galapagos. Hundreds of marine iguanas, the largest colony in Galapagos, bask in the sun along the rugged shoreline. Observe sea lion harems with resident bulls carefully guarding their territory. Flightless Cormorants build their nest on the point and Galapagos Hawks fly overhead. Recent lava flows formed by an active volcano stretch their way around the coast." - Itinerary

Fernandina Island hosts the Galapagos' largest marine iguanas. These iguanas can reach lengths of almost five feet long. They lay together in large piles on the black volcanic rocks, sneezing out salt in abrupt bursts. Occasionally, a large male will move threatening towards another male, bobbing its head up and down and moving its tail from side to side. Our group just nearly missed a pair of males fighting (we watched them threaten each other for awhile), which resulted in one of them being covered in its own blood. The reptiles were there in such quantity that we had to watch where we were stepping for fear of crushing one.

On the water's edge at Punta Espinosa, flightless cormorants walked among (and sometimes on top of) piles of iguanas. After getting out of the water, they would dry themselves by facing the sun sanding on one foot, their stubby little wings spread open on both sides.

As we left Fernandina Island, we were escorted by a school of over a thousand common dolphins. Many of them swam and jumped directly in front of our sister boat, the Eric, giving them front-row seats to an amazing show. All of us stood on the deck, watching in awe as they passed.