Galapagos Islands, Ecuador ~ Tagus Cove, Urbina Bay

Friday, October 28th ~ Tagus Cove, Urbina Bay, Isabela Island 

Darwin Lake

Darwin Lake

Day 3 ~ Before we take off on todays excursions, I wanted to share more information of what day-to-day life is like on board the Santa Cruz II. There are several primary large areas where meetings, or lectures, or meals can be served, the Panorama Bar, Rear Sun Deck, Library and the Dining Room. 

Library

Library, also used for coffee bar, snack station, and daily briefings in Spanish

Dining Room - Breakfast and lunch are buffet, but dinner is served from menu

Dining Room – Breakfast and lunch are buffet, but dinner is served from menu

At lunchtime each day, we review the menu of dinner offerings and place our order so the chef knows how many of each dish to prepare. Less waste as only what is needed is prepared.

Sample of one days dinner choices

Sample of one days dinner choices

This was the fish dish

This was the fish dish

Long hallways with nautical carpeting

Long hallways with nautical carpeting

The daily schedule is posted on each deck so that we know what is planned, whether it is a wet or dry landing, and any options we may need to sign up for in advance.

What was planned for today

What was planned for today

A map is also displayed on these boards showing how far we have traveled and where we will be each day.

This shows the distance traveled and stops made on the first three days

This shows the distance traveled and stops made on the first three days

Did you notice that Isabel Island is in the shape of a sea-horse?

And pictures are posted to show us the primary “Big 15” animals/birds/reptiles we will be looking for that day.

Pictures of what will be looking for today

Pictures of what will be looking for today

I already shared a picture of our cabin and bathroom on day 1.

When our group is announced to depart the ship, we already have our life vests on. Moving to the aft of the boat, we place a red magnet over our cabin room number (one for each person in that cabin) so that the crew always knows who is on board and who is on shore.

Our in and out board. Everyone was on board when this was taken so no red magnets shown.

Our in and out board. Everyone was on board when this was taken so no red magnets shown.

This is the rear of the boat where the panga boats (zodiac) are stored.

This is the rear of the boat where the panga boats (zodiac) are stored.

Back of the ship where panga boats load and unload each day

Back of the ship where panga boats load and unload each day

Our plans for the morning include a panga ride and landing at Tagus Cove on the northwest part of Isabela Island. This was a favorite anchorage for pirates and whalers over the centuries.

Sadly years ago before protection measures were put in place, visitors left their mark

Sadly years ago before protection measures were put in place, visitors left their mark

Hiking trails are uphill, but not too rugged

Hiking trails are uphill, but not too rugged

An uphill hike brought us to the rim of the crater and to Darwin Lake, filled with salt water. This was a spectacular vista point with the colorful lake and ocean with our ship in the background.

Tim, Joanne, Rica and Fred in front of Darwin Lake

Tim, Joanne, Rica and Fred in front of Darwin Lake

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After our walk, the panga hugged the shoreline to spot more of the local wildlife.

Along the rocky coastline

Along the rocky coastline

Brown Pelican

Brown Pelican

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We next had the choice of open water snorkeling or glass bottom boat ride. We choose second option. Unfortunately the water was stirred up and murky, so we saw little other than several green sea turtles and chocolate chip starfish.

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All of this was before lunch!

We had planned on going snorkeling in the afternoon from the beach at Urbina Bay, but after seeing how unclear the water was today, we chose to stay on board and just go on the late afternoon hike.

Urbina Bay, is the fascinating result of an uplifting of the ocean floor in 1954. The beach was made up of corals, shells and other calcareous organisms exposed above water.

The walk was easy and mostly flat this afternoon.

This is the terrain where we walked

This is the terrain where we walked

And what about the vegetation? Yes, we did see the occasional flower, seed or fruit pod, but they were not in abundance. Here is a sampling of what we found. Sorry, I have not identified each one.

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This area is also home to the large and colorful Galápagos land iguanas and occasionally to giant tortoises. We were fortunate (once again) to see both of them.

Colorful Land Iguana

Colorful Land Iguana

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Our first Giant Galapagos Tortoise

Our first Giant Galapagos Tortoise – this is a relatively young one (maybe 20-30 years)

These tortoise can live up to 150 years it has been estimated.

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Last ones off the island just before sunset. This shows the beach area where some of the group snorkels from.

Shoreline made of shells and coral - wet landing

Shoreline made of shells and coral – wet landing

We were welcomed back on board to watch the sunset and a surprise BBQ happy hour complete with Sangria on the rear Panorama Deck.

After another sumptuous dinner, a guest scientist, Gabriella, gave a lecture on how the weather patterns (El Nino and La Nina) affect evolution. Tim is once again struggling with dietary allergy reactions and not feeling great, so he opted for an early evening, but I found the talk of interest.

GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for how well-organized the ship and activities are. Things run smoothly, there are always steady hands to assist getting on/off the moving panga boats. Meals are tasty and varied. There are always some options each day for more or less adventurous passengers. They run a well-oiled machine.

We hope you are enjoying seeing what our Galapagos Expedition is like. We have two more full days to go. Please join us!

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our "next chapter". At a stage in life where traveling the world, taking pictures, and sharing our adventures with friends and family will be our dream come true.
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41 Responses to Galapagos Islands, Ecuador ~ Tagus Cove, Urbina Bay

  1. natalyadrian says:

    Wow! Lucky you! Have fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like you are having a great time ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Another great post and photos 🙂

    Like

  4. Asif says:

    Your pictures about your daily agenda and timings reminded me of what I do to cope. Sent you an email !

    Like

  5. David says:

    A very nice piece to get me thinking about heading to the Galapagos!

    Like

  6. Gaye O'Brien says:

    We couldn’t have a better armchair ride. Thanks

    Like

  7. Hello! We are in the Galapagos now also. We are on Isabela for one more night and then in Puerta Ayora for four nights. If you ever have free time on your busy schedule, please let me know. I would love to meet you in person!

    Like

  8. I love all your photos and your adventure! So fun. 🙂

    Like

  9. Terry says:

    Wonderful photos it looks like an outstanding adventure. I am jealous, HAHA. You 2 have fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Fabulous photos. Some are dark brown on the blog with no picture. Perhaps it’s just me.

    Like

  11. Rajesh says:

    Beautiful tour of the island.

    Like

  12. Anabel Marsh says:

    Great! These posts are bringing back memories for me of our trip way back in 1999.

    Like

  13. usfman says:

    Seems like a rigorous schedule but you seemed to manage it well.

    Like

    • They do keep you busy, but only if you want to. If you chose to simply sit on deck and soak up the sunshine and a beverage, that is OK too. We wanted to see as many of the animals as we possibly could, so off we went at every opportunity.

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  14. Wonderful adventure. Great post!

    Like

  15. payel says:

    I just love your picture quality and photographic skill!

    Like

  16. Pingback: Galapagos Islands, Ecuador ~ Tagus Cove, Urbina Bay — A Note From Abroad | The Love Chronicles

  17. What an amazing journey and you’ve captured some wonderful photos of the wildlife! 😀

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  18. great post! thank you for taking us with you! i hope that the food sensitivities are past… something ‘jumped’ on me last weekend, and after a few days of purging, i was lucky to end it via a strong guava-leaf tea… not sure if there are any guava trees there on the islands…
    lisa

    Like

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