Today we woke up and were out walking before the sunrise, checking out the Pelicans and other indigenous birds. The sea lions are particularly active in the water during this time, which was fun to watch.
We are both very appreciative of our early morning and evening walks together, as it gives us some time to process the whirlwind of adventures we have been having. Each day, as soon as breakfast is over, we are off to a scheduled adventure, so this time to relax and reflect is priceless…plus sometimes we have some fun:
We were off to the Charles Darwin Research station right after breakfast, where we met our new guide, Patricio, who would be with us for the rest of our time in Galapagos. It was interesting to learn so much from him about the islands, the wildlife, the ecosystem and the people. Patricio has been a guide on Galapagos for sixteen years, having been a professional diver (who has trained NAVY Seals in diving AND been attacked by a shark!) One of the best parts of this trip has definitely been meeting people and hearing their stories. Here we are learning about the islands and how the ocean currents affect the climate on each island.
We also had an opportunity to see some new reptiles and turtles and to learn about how they are trying to repopulate certain species that are endangered…and even one type of giant tortoise that has gone extinct, but whose DNA was found in another type of turtle that is a hybrid of two different kinds! 😮
We saw tons of crabs and our first blue-footed boobies!
Mrs. Hesse was at first afraid to go snorkeling; she didn’t feel comfortable breathing underwater. With some help from our professional diver and guide, she conquered her fear. As we snorkeled, we swam over a huge school of translucent white fish and Mrs. Hesse even got to see a black-tipped reef SHARK!!!
The boat ride to Isabela was rugged. One passenger was vomiting regularly. We both did okay and were glad to arrive on the beautiful island safely. It was late in the afternoon, but we immediately set out to explore the miles of gorgeous beach and mangrove forests right outside of our hotel room, where we found a cave and some beautiful wetlands before heading to bed…another great day exploring!
It looks beautiful out there! So how does the ocean currents affect the climate on each island??
It looks beautiful there ! So how does the ocean currents affect the climate on each island?
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It is actually super interesting, Carolina! There are three ocean currents that affect the Galapagos and they make for very different climates and sea life in different areas. The cold South Equatorial Current comes off of the Peruvian Current that runs north along the continent of South America and turns west near the equator. The deep sea Cromwell Current also comes in from the west and brings nutrients from the bottom up to the surface layer. Contrasting the cold South Equatorial Current is the warm Panama Current, which runs in from north. So if you picture the islands and think about the different ocean currents flowing towards and around them, you can imagine how the differing water temperatures could change the temperatures on the islands.
What really affects the climate the most is the wind. When the Southeast trade wind weakens between January and April, the Galapagos warm up and the warm, rainy season arrives. In June, the trade wind strengthens and the cold South Equatorial Current flows around the whole archipelago, this is what is happening now, while we are here. The air temperature then drops marking the arrival of the garua season,which is the misty, cloudy season, (see the pictures of our volcano hike) when no rain falls in the lowland, and cloud and mist envelop the highland. So those are basically the two seasons that the Galapagos islands have: rainy and misty 🙂
-turns out though that the mists have pretty much blown through in the morning and part of each day has been sunny and beautiful!