It`s the 21st and tomorrow my wonderful neighbors and friends are moving to Hideaway Hills. Kimberly and Lance are such good people and have been like family to me. I will miss them terribly but know that this move is something they have wanted and will be a kind of fresh start for them. The pictures of the house on line are amazing, the house is only 5 years old, has lots of room and amenities. It sits on 2 and 1\2 acres of wooded land. There`s a big fenced in yard that Annie will love. I hope to see them from time to time but know it will never be the same. How many times did I run next door for help with a sick or stray animal. Lance built my computer and fixed my other electronics many times. They were so generous to share their dogs with me. Poe and Stella were the best and Annie has started to know and trust me. All good things must come to an end. I don't know if it's easier this way, to not be there to watch them go or if it will be harder to come home and they'll be gone. Life lesson, enjoy what you have while you can.
This morning we went in the dingies to Espinosa Point on Fernandina Island. A dry landing but onto wet volcanic rock. I'm so glad I bought a walking stick and dragged it along. There were some tidal pools where we disembarked then we walked a little way in and the ground became sandy. We saw a blue heron, lots of Sally lightfoot crabs, some sea lions, a cormorant on a nest, a turtle in the water and BUNCHES of marine iguanas. Unbelievable, they are the same color as the volcanic rock so in spots you have to be careful not to step on them. There were large groups everywhere, just hanging out, warming up so they could get in the water to eat the algae. Indira told us that only the males dive into the water. The females and juveniles wait til the tide goes out and eat the algae off the exposed rocks. After they are in the water they sneeze out the salt to avoid getting too much salt in their systems. Fernandina is the youngest of the Galapagos Islands, considered the best preserved and only pristine island in the world. This means it has no introduced species on it, only endemic flora and fauna. There was also a partial skeleton of a whale here. The guides said the carcass was found on the beach and looked like a baby born prematurely or possibly a stillborn. Someone decided to move the bones from the shore up to higher ground and reassemble the spine. The guides said they usually don`t do that type of display but decided not to remove it. There was also a skull of a sea lion and one of a bottle nose dolphin. Indira showed us the remains of a marine iguana and explained that the land iguanas and lava lizards have round tails. The marine iguana`s tail is more flat, resembling an eel, and that he uses it to propel himself thru the water. We saw pineapple rinds, orange and grapefruit peels on the beach. I was surprised because until then I had not seen one bit of trash. Indira said that the boats are allowed to dump a certain amount of organic materials into the ocean and sometimes the currents bring it on shore. If the guides see a lot of material or any trash, they notify the park service and the rangers come and pick it up. I am very thankful for all the work the guides and rangers do to protect these islands so we can visit these wonderful places. We finished the morning with snorkeling, I saw several sea turtles, sea urchins and different types of fish. The haze burned off and the water was more clear than yesterday which made visibility much better.
Sunday afternoon: Vicente Roca Point on Isabela We took the dingy out and cruised along the coast at Vicente Roca Point. The rock face is very interesting geologically, at one point you can see ash traveling on top of volcanic rock. We saw dykes, long lines that were fissures that later filled with lava. We saw turtles, sea lions, fur seals, a manta ray jumped up for us, penguins on the rocks, iguanas and crabs. Also blue footed boobies, cormorants, frigates, and noddies. This place is unimaginable unless you see it for yourself.