May 29th: Lotioning and oiling, oiling and lotioning… I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!

Hola from Rabida! Today has been a fun day for island hopping, don’t ya think? We awoke this morning to the view of our very familiar island friend, Santiago, where we have visited twice already. We hiked this morning on Puerto Egas, located on the western coast of the island. We had a possible lesson in the web of life when we saw a young sea lion pup enter the water unattended and, moments later, a shark appeared unannounced. While we are not sure what the fate of the young pup was, we as young wilderness explorers/scientists understand that a fish has gotta eat. We were able to observe some playful behaviors from other sea lions in collapsed lava tubes leading to the ocean, and we saw several species already sighted. This includes the crowd favorite, the sally lightfoot crab. Our last few snorkel adventures were bittersweet, as I know none of us want to admit the truth: our time here is winding down.

We now write from Rabida, a very tiny volcanic island off the southern tip of Santiago. Rabida is famous for its playa de rojo, or red beach. The sand on this beach is a deep burgundy in coloration and it was so exciting to see. Although our hike and time spent here was short, we were able to admire some spectacular views, enjoy the wildlife, and even manage to not get sunburned! We then ventured back to the M/Y Floreana for our last night. The crew of the boat was present at dinner to give certificates declaring our crossing of the equatorial line. Everyone was very touched by the gesture, especially when we noticed that our tour guide, Victor, even wore shoes to this special occasion. Tomorrow, many of us will wake to watch the sunrise for the last time in the Galapagos before departing these amazing islands.

Quote of the day: (singing to the Folgers theme) ” The best part of waking up is Choco Listo in your cup!”

Two quick notes: Choco Listo is like hot chocolate/Ovaltine. The title is a Sandlot reference, that just ended up being said quite a bit due to the amount of sunscreen used on this trip.

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