Jan 29

Galapagos – strange Austrian Baroness, Sally Lightfoot crabs and turtles..

by in Galapagos

Galapagos – strange Austrian Baroness, Sally Lightfoot crabs and turtles..

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Greater Pink Flamingo

We headed to Commerant point in the panga (small dinghy) and walked along to a bay where the turtles come up to lay their eggs. There were some fresh tracks that looked like bicycle tracks in the sand, but it think they were turtles. (Unless they were turtles on bicycles…?)

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We saw a lot of turtles just swimming around in the water, they were probably exhausted after hauling themselves up on the sand. It reminded us of Turtle Island in Borneo where we saw the turtles laying their eggs and them some of the hatchlings being released into the sea. They make a big nest by moving the sand away so they can settle in. Unfortunately the success rate of the hatchlings is the same as the green pacific turtles at only about 1 percent so they are also under threat. Here the National park closes all the uninhibited islands at sunset so there is no chance to see the turtles either laying eggs or see the hatchlings.

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Sally Lightfoot..

Yet more Sally Lightfoot crabs were on the rocks their vibrant colors a stark contrast against the black rocks. So called after a famous dancer. One was eating some stuff off the rocks and we saw him use his claws to grab his lunch. ¬†When they discover a new breed they have promised to call it Kathy Leigh Lightfoot after my inimitable dance style…

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An Austrian baroness island, came to set up on Floreana, and lived in a house on the island. She would go to the top of the lookout every day so she would watch for the ships. She tried to charge the ships for using the source of fresh water that was near her house. She allegedly had three lovers, all who disappeared, and she also disappeared leaving the locals to believe that the island itself was cursed.
In the afternoon we went to Post Office bay.

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When this lands were first inhabited people needed a way to communicate with each other so they set up their version of a post office. I you needed to get in touch with someone you would leave a note in the agreed wine barrel, and anyone visiting that island would check the ‘postbox ‘ to see if there was a message going to anywhere close to them. If there was they would take it to them. The practice is still done today and we left two postcard in the mailbox and picked up two that are addressed to people in Dallas you aren’t allowed to just mail them but have to take them to the address like in the old days, so we will be doing that once we get back to the US.

The day ended with a panga tour of mystery bay, where we saw more birdlife close up. The wildlife here is just incredible. So many creatures love in complete harmony and have a trust that we can only dream about. It’s brilliant to see, and get within a few feet of things we have never seen before. Wonderful !

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