Galapagos Part II: Daphne

So I lied. At the end of the last blog post I promised I’d be back soon and I totally lied. But here I am.

Back on Santa Cruz we met up with our friend Nicole again and we were on the same dive boat for our trip out to Seymour and Daphne.  We dove first at Seymour and then at Daphne. Chris and I hadn’t been diving since our certification in Panama and the conditions were a little rough, so we were a bit nervous. By which I mean Chris was a bit nervous and I was shitting myself.  The dive master wanted to skip the test dive because we had all been diving “recently” in his mind, but luckily, Nicole insisted on it and it helped our comfort levels a lot. The dive master seemed annoyed with this, but complied. Once we got underwater at the dive site, we realized that our worries were founded. The current was more aggressive than anything we had dealt with, but it was doable. Scroll down to see the slideshow of pictures.

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Seymour North

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Our friend Nicole

After lunch the boat drove over to the Daphne dive site. We sat around for a while going from spot to spot while the dive master and the boat captain discussed where we were going to dive. All this talking was making us nervous again and rightly so. When we finally got down the current was insane. It was way worse than it had been at Seymour and I instantly started panicking but thankfully got my breathing under control quickly as we started swimming. At points we held on to rocks to not get swept away.

a us hanging on rock

us hanging on to a rock

Here is a slideshow of the rest of the pictures from the day.

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And some masked boobies we saw from the boat: IMG_0051

 

After diving we did some other fun things in Santa Cruz including checking out the tortoises and other animals at the Darwin Research Center. Each island has their own breeding and rehabilitation center, and while Isabela’s was the largest, the one on Santa Cruz also has the Galapagos Land Iguanas. They are endemic to Santa Cruz and I only saw them in the breeding center, though Chris saw one in the middle of the road on our drive from the airport the day we landed. I only felt the bus slam on the breaks as I lurched into the seat in front of me, but Chris saw out the window the giant yellow iguana traveling across the road.

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Land Iguanas

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Big old guys at the Darwin Center

On the main street there is a little boardwalk that juts out into the mangroves. Whenever we walked by we saw a lava heron fishing, or a sea lion splashing in the shallows.

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After those adventures it was time to head over to San Cristóbal, the only other island where you can spend the night. I made sure we arrived at the boat dock far too early so we could be the first ones on our boat over. Unfortunately a crew member of the boat started calling people’s names and only letting them get on the boat after their name had been called. I waited patiently, but our names weren’t called. This was getting very stressful. I couldn’t handle another two hours at the front of the speed boat. Eventually he stopped calling names and I went up to him and showed him my ticket. He made some phone calls, talked to the captain and decided he could squeeze us on. We get to the boat and he tries to make us sit in the enclosed cabin in the very front of the boat! These are not the front seats by the windows where we were stuck on our first trip, but basically what is usually a storage room, right at the front where the boat narrows to a point. I shook my head and adamantly professed that I was not able to sit there, and since that is as far as my Spanish took me, I then made a vomiting gesture. The crew member went to the back, kicked a guy out of the prime middle seat on the back bench and gave it to me! It was at the same time incredibly embarrassing and absolutely amazing.

We arrived on San Cristóbal, shopped around for a room and went to check in with the Wreck Bay Dive School. And that is where I will leave you. I am going to once again promise that the next post will be coming soon. It is by far the best, so I won’t let you down.

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