Fernandina and Isabel Islands, Galapagos Day 4

Located at the westernmost edge of the archipelago, Fernandina is the youngest of the islands, at only one million years old.  Volcanically speaking, it is also the most active, though it has been 7 years since the last eruption.  Landing on the shoreline at Espinoza Point, we headed out across the lava covered landscape.  Vegetation on the island is sparse, with some mangroves near the water and lava cactus growing out of the black rock.  Countless marine iguanas populate the island, and we also saw our first Flightless Cormorants and two different types of snakes.

Following the hike, we did some deep-water snorkeling off the island.  Jumping into the chilly water literally took our breath away, even though we were wearing full, 3mm wet-suits.  Spotting a Galapagos green turtle, took our mind off the water temperature.  We were enthralled by
 numerous turtles, thousands of fish, and near the end of the swim, our first Galapagos penguin.

As we enjoyed lunch, the Letty moved to Urbina Bay off Isabel Island.  Taking the dinghy to the shore, we hiked around a loop trail, where we saw numerous land iguanas and large Galapagos turtles.  Rough waters on the bay caused the cancellation of our afternoon snorkel and created an adventure in returning to the boat.  Large sets of waves coming in every few minutes meant timing the exit carefully to ensure a safe return.  We stayed off Isabel Island overnight, so we could explore other areas the following day.


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