Day six: San Cristóbal

Raina Pannee

"Fregatas" ...We boarded our dingy and departed for San Cristóbal Island. I was disappointed to find that it was windy and much cooler than the previous couple of days. As we approached the island Louis pointed out Witch Hill, a part of the island that jutted out into the water. He said that they call it Witch Hill because it often disappears behind the mist during the rainy season.

The dinghy slowed to a stop to let us off into the shallow water. As I made my way up onto island I was amazed by the brightly colored stones which covered the shore. To get to the snorkeling area we had to walk through a crevice in the rocks. The walls of the crevice housed orange, white, and green lichen. The other end of the crevice opened up onto a beach of fine white sand and blue water. Finally, it was the island that most people had been expecting since the trip began. The sand was made of fine white sand of quartz. It was so soft that Jake mentioned that it reminded him of flour. I immediately threw off my shoes to enjoy it.

However, it didn't turn out to be a paradise island after all. Although the walk along the beach was beautiful, the snorkeling was somewhat disappointing. The rough waves stirred up the fine sand which made it hard to see any marine life. The rough water also washed people into rocks, resulting in some pretty nasty injuries. Despite the poor snorkeling conditions Dr. Holtz, Amanda, and Kate all reported seeing some Bulls Eye Puffer fish.

Bulls Eye Puffer.

Back on the beach I was watching a group of Sea Lion sunbathing. It was interesting to see their reactions to different people. Any time an Adult approached the group of Sea Lion one was sure to rear up or give a grunt. However, a child could come running up to them at full speed and the animals wouldn't even lift their heads. I was surprised to see that they weren't intimidated by the child because of his size, even if the child was acting in a threatening manor.

I'm sure everyone's favorite part of the visit was watching Dr. Merck being chased by one of the Sea Lions. He was trying to get a picture of the Sea Lion from the water with all of his snorkeling gear on until the Sea Lion charged at him. He trying running backwards into the water with his flippers on, but he tripped and fell. The whole time it was happening I was fumbling for my camera, but it ended too quickly and I missed the whole fiasco.

After the snorkeling session we headed back for the boat. Before setting its course for Española, The Ambassador circled Kicker Rock to give us a closer look. Some people noted that they saw Kicker Rock from the airplane flight into Baltra on day 1.

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