Getting ashore after a passage to a new destination is always a learning experience. Where do you take the dinghy? What can you access once you are ashore without a car? What if you can't take your dinghy, what do you do then? Among the many rules for private boats in the Galapagos is the rule that you cannot use your own dinghy, at any time, in any place.
So what do we do? We call the water taxi. The taxis monitor channel 14 on the VHF radio and usually they will come within 5 minutes to pick us up. Cost- $1 per person. Galapagos (and Ecuador) use the US dollar as currency. Any change is given in dollars, with the occasional Ecuadorian coins thrown in.
The first thing that greets us in San Cristobal is the great number of sea lions. This is the largest concentration of sea lions in the Galapagos and they let you know that they own the place and that they might allow you to pass by if you keep your distance. The docks are covered with them, the rocks by the beach are covered with them, and if you don't take precautions, your boat will be covered by them.
We attempted to keep them off of Rhapsody by blocking off the stern entry with all of our fenders, and for the most part it worked... until it didn't. Three times during our stay Bob was awake at night and found sea lions in the cockpit. One time it was a pair playing king of the mountain on our cockpit table. The aftermath is lots of fur and mud for us to clean off of the seats, the cockpit and the table.
Lots of pups nursing with their mothers
And generally taking over everything.
Other animals of note:
Yellow crowned night heron.
Building a nest
The striking thing about so many of the birds and animals here is their lack of fear, while they are wary, they still allow us to be much closer than in other places.
Great blue heron fishing at low tide in a canal next to the park. At high tide the sea lions play in this channel.
And finally, the rainy season has begun here.
You know the rain is impressive when the locals step out to take pictures!
Next up, traveling around San Cristobal.