A spectacular view of a giant brick red cliff greeted us when we opened our curtains today. On the beach I know I finally got a video of the bullet dive of a blue-footed boobie, and a rather less graceful looking fishing pelican in which can best be described as a skim the water and flop in move. An American oystercatcher pecked its way down the beach, and four pelicans roosted in a row along the cliffs, looking like little statues up on pedestals.
The brackish lagoon is no longer home to flamingoes and has been taken over by sea lions. It is rather smelly and one of the only places I have seen so far on the islands that I could not find beauty in. Looking up at the hill, the top was greener, and a distinct line forms where the plant life is ghostlike. They looks like dead plants although Galo tells us they are dormant, and the top of the hill gets water from mist to keep it green.
Snorkeling we see a sea star village with variations of color and pattern and thousands of tiny little fish. The wet suits have been great, we stay out every time until the very end.
From the sand to the rocks, Santiago is a black island. The volcanic formations swirl, flow, form cones, arches, recessions and layers like works of art. Adding splashes of white are the latrines/perches of the birds. In one spot the guano has heated up from the sun and formed a bright, shiny layer of white over the dark rocks, making it look like marble. In several recessions, salt had crystallized. Hiding down near the shore were a group of fur seals. We stopped to watch Darwin’s toilet flush.
We watched as head after head of marine iguanas appeared from different directions in the water, all heading toward shore. As they got closer we could see their tails swishing through the water, and then they climbed up, and joined the several hundred other iguanas on the rocks. Oftentimes, they piled right on top of each other, looking a bit like iguana dominoes. Baby and juvenile iguanas joined the group. We could get so close we could see each spine along their backs and the shadows they made along their bodies. Small sneezes came from the some, releasing the salt from their system. It was yet another time when we just sat and enjoyed the show put on by the animals with scenery provided by the rocks, sun, and water.