The 5 am alarm that is usually reserved for our night watches was a rude awaking to begin the big day to Bartolome island. On the small bus, we headed an hour north to catch a sloooow tour boat. Two and a half hours later we disembark on what looks like a moon landing. There’s a bit of vegetation few lizards and 450 stairs to climb in blistering sun/heat and a guild who wanted to school us in vulcanology.
Hearing about the beginning of time, tectonic plates, the ice age, and how everything came from a single cell in the ocean we thought life might end right there in severe heatstroke. Only the incredible views and a few lava facts kept us in the moment.
Finally, at the summit, we were on our own to gaze and shoot photos. As you can see in the photos, it is a special place in a very special place. Once our eyes were sore from taking in these surroundings we motored over to a little beach and cove to snorkel. This was actually on the uninhabited island of Santiago. We saw many brightly colored fish, white tip reef sharks, penguins, and an eagle ray.
The ride back everyone was satisfied with the great experience but Galapagos is never finished with you. My sister Sandy spied out some splashing out the far side and pointed it to the captain. He changed course to find hundreds of dolphins eating and now playing with us!
This was one of the largest families of dolphins I have ever seen and as we ran literally through the middle of them, they played at the bow of the boat showing off for at least a half-hour. They would take turns at the bow darting in and out of the bow wake, looking up, jumping for air, and listening to our hoots and shouts of praise for these beautiful creatures. Not to be left out there were some acrobatic performances, jumping and leaping from just off the port side.
You can see and feel them connecting with us, they want to show off and when you are just a few feet away the eye contact is very powerful. We felt so privileged that these animals would want to play with us and shower us with their attention.