Floreana Island, also known as the mystery island, was our destination today. We started the day with a pre-breakfast walk at Punta Cormorant. By 6:20 a.m., guests were ready. This site has several highlights, including sea turtles, blue-footed boobies, flamingos, rays, and many land birds. We saw them all today!
The most amazing sighting was the flamingos performing their courtship dance. The flamingos in Galapagos are a subspecies of the American flamingo. There are only about 700 individuals in the entire archipelago, and we saw at least 60 of them today. Flamingos are unmistakable due to their color and size; they obtain their pink coloration from their main source of food, the tiny shrimp that are colloquially known as “sea monkeys.” These birds are indeed a favorite of many guests.
After our visit, we returned to the ship and enjoyed a great breakfast. Later, we got ready for water activities. Snorkeling at Champion Islet was wonderful. We were in the water with different species of colorful fish, dozens of sharks, and plenty of sea lions.
The afternoon was a thrill as well. We had a delicious Mexican lunch and our first kayaking experience. We visited the post office barrel, which Captain James Colnett placed in 1793. Floreana Island was likely a favorite spot of sailors since it had a permanent water source and giant tortoises that could be used for food. Tortoises can live without food or water for over a year, so they became a good source of fresh meat for sailors. For the past 200 years, visitors to the island placed postcards in the barrel. Subsequent visitors took the postcards to hand deliver once they returned home. Our guests wrote many letters that will eventually be delivered to their loved ones.
We ended the day with our daily recap and a great dinner. What a wonderful day Floreana gave us.