CCC’s Galapagos Chronicles: Lava, Iguanas, and Sea Lions – Oh My!

Our Galapagos adventure took us to the magnificent islands of Fernandina and Isabela.  Fernandina is home to one of the world’s most active volcanos on one of the world’s most pristine islands.  As the Galapagos’ youngest island, it is the perfect home for sea lions and marine iguanas.

2 Monday Fernandina EM exploring the ropy lava
The outer edges of Fernandina are covered with black, ropy lava that create inlets and water ways – prime real estate for the island’s wildlife. I loved walking on these volcanic islands! There’s something thrilling and mysterious about being a part of  the ever shifting volcanic life, even if only for a short while. (Photo by Joanna.)
Sunday North Seymour Learning to Walk 1
The Galapagos Sea Lions are the islands’ stars and never shy away from the camera! These charming creatures are endemic to the Galapagos which means they are  found on the Galapagos and nowhere else in the world. This lovely photo was taken by my nephew, Jason.
3 Monday Fernandina Marine Iguana 2
The Marine Iguana of the Galapagos is the only seafaring lizard in the world! It feeds on marine algae and can spend up to 60 minutes under the water. When the marine iguana gets chilly it leaves the water to warm itself  under the Ecuadorian sun on the lava rocks.

One of the most incredible aspects of traveling in the Galapagos is how close you come to the wildlife. Sea lions, iguanas, sea turtles, frigates, and boobies are three to five feet away from you.  The Galapagos gives new meaning to the phrase, “communing with nature”!

16 Monday Fernandina Walking thru Marine Iguana Village 2
Walking through Iguana Village. Don’t step on an iguana’s tail!
13 Monday Fernandina Strange Creatures 2
The Galapagos park ranger was unable to identify these curious creatures. I took a photo in the hopes that someone might be able identify what species they are!
9 Monday Fernandina EM and Mom
My mom and me on Fernandina. The Ecuadorian sun is no joke. Ecuador means equator after all! The wise cocktail camper is always covered from head to toe. My sister, Lee, gave me the bandana and I am forever grateful. It saved me from becoming a “redneck”!
39 Sunday Lunch Sister 3
After our wonderful excursion to Fernandina, we had lunch and a glass (or two) sauvignon blanc. One of the best parts of the trip was spending time with my sister, Joanna. We might have even been a little irresponsible! 😉

After a lovely, relaxing lunch and a nap on the ship’s back deck, my niece, Claire, and I took a zodiac ride around the island of Isabela.  Shaped like a seahorse, Isabela is the largest Galapagos island and at one million years old, one of its youngest.  Isabela was formed by the merging of six volcanos, five of which are still active.  Isabela offers an example of another kind of volcanic terrain, tuff.  It is soft, volcanic ash that, after pouring forth from the volcano, forms itself into fantastic and rugged shapes.

19 Monday Zodiac Ride Punta Vincent Roca Blue-footed booby
Another famous endemic denizen of the Galapagos, the Blue-footed booby sits atop volcanic tuff.  I love the curving pattern of the tuff in the background.
18 Monday Zodiac Ride Pelican
A pelican flying high with Isabelan tuff in the background. I am particularly proud of this photo.

The island of Isabela is cut in half by the equator. Midway through our trip we passed from the northern to the southern hemisphere.  What better way to celebrate such an auspicious crossing than with a cocktail party?

20 Monday Equatorial Crossing Cocktail Piggy
The bartender pouring my most favorite libation in all the world, bubbles! Not quite sure of the reason for the dancing piggy. Perhaps the Ecuadorians feel it is pleasing to the tourists. (Photo by Joanna.)
25 Monday Equatorial Crossing Cocktails Family Photo
The Marlow Clan excited about crossing the equator.
26 Monday Sunset on the Equator
Sunset on the Equator. We were lucky enough to see the “green flash”. Yes, physics majors, it does exist. (Photo by Joanna.)






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