The thing with field work in the Galápagos is you never know if you will have the opportunity to return. Funding, time, permits, and the many other components that go into making a field season happen might fall through at any time. I've been lucky enough to be in the midst of my third season here, but I haven't had that many chances to visit other islands. Fortunately, I have the time for day trips, so today, we did a day trip to Floreana.
Floreana has the smallest town of the four inhabited islands. Population = 120. However, it has some of the most interesting stories. For those unfamiliar, I've heard good things about The Galapagos Affair. If you watch it, let me know how it is because I want to see it!
Immediately upon arrival, the first thing I noticed was how much colour the marine iguanas had! Truly spectacular!
Snorkling on Playa Negra or Black Beach was a nice treat. I'd never seen black sand before, and the snorkling was enjoyable spottingsome rays, turtles, and a scorpion fish.
After snorkling and a delicious lunch of arroz y pescado, we headed into the highlands. The Floreana tortoise is extinct, due to overzealous humans deciding Galapagos tortoises made for tasting meat on the long sea voyages. However, there is now an enclosure in the highlands on Floreana which has a mix of tortoises from different islands. They seemed to spend a lot of time intimidating each other....
There are pirate caves here!
And perhaps, most interesting, we saw a medium tree finch.It was bathing in a pool of water in the highlands where we were looking at the tortoises. I had spotted it, and based on the beak shape, I said "Check out that parv!" Parv is our nickname of the small tree finch, which can be found on Santa Cruz. My friend quickly corrected me because the bird was too large to be a small tree finch, but I had forgotten there were medium tree finches on Floreana! So, we had a chance to see a critically endangered species on Floreana!