Per usual, the day started early with a 5:00 am breakfast and a 5:45 departure via Pangas.

Unfortunately for me, this departure did not go smoothly.   As I stepped into the panga, I failed to notice the emergency oar under the carpet and as I stepped into the boat - yup, there went the same ankle.   Turned under and I almost went down - not exactly sure how I managed to stay standing and in the panga.

Tears came immediately to my eyes from the pain.  It was suggested I stay behind but I've never missed an outing into the wild and I wasn't about to start now.   After the first minute or so it wasn't quite as bad.

As we motored to the island - I thought - well, maybe I should have stayed back.  I had no idea how I was going to make it up the "stairs" with my camera gear on a bad ankle.

The stairs were cut into the cliff side and were very uneven.   A challenge for some even under the best conditions.

Thankfully, Kelly - the backpacker insisted on carrying my back pack up for me.   I was and am forever grateful for the assist.    It took me a long time on a bad ankle to get up those stairs.

The side of the cliff that we had to get up in order to see the colonies of birds.

Here is a picture (faces blurred for privacy) of all of us coming down after our time up on the cliff.   You can see how steep and uneven the "steps" are.

many people on the steep steps coming down from the cliff

Once we got to the top, it was fairly flat and birds everywhere.   At the time, the naturalist told us the types of birds - but I'm really sorry as I do not remember most of them.

a panoramic view of the top of the cliff

A rare picture of me (thank you Sue) doing what I love

me sitting on the ground photographing birds

A few of the bird images I shot that morning.  

The first frigate is with his pouch deflated and the second is a different frigate with his pouch puffed out.   It was funny watching them when the pouches were out trying to move their heads around because the pouch would get in the way of their beaks.

red footed boobie that had brownish wings and feathers

The walk was short but nice -- full of birds.   On the other side of the island (where the birds are flying in the video), it was extremely windy.   I didn't stay over there for long and walked back to where most of the boobies were.

After I took the treacherous stairs back down to the panga and went back to the boat, it was time for snorkeling.  

The water was very rough at this point and I don't do well with motion sickness and I'm not a very strong swimmer so I was tempted to not go on this excursion -- but as I mentioned above, I have never missed a chance to be in the field, so I took a deep breath and stuffed myself into the wetsuit for the next adventure.

We were told we had a great chance of seeing hammer head sharks on this snorkel.   I remember from my diving days, the one shark they would always make us get out of the water for was a hammerhead shark so I was a bit confused why we were going in search for them.

Between the rough water and the sharks, I was more than a bit apprehensive.

Even though some of the sharks were big, this was a nursery.   I'm not super comfortable in rough open water, so I stayed on top but the naturalist went down and took some pictures for us.

The video was shot on my GoPro camera and the stills were given to me by the naturalist (taken on our snorkel trip)

To see images from the Galapagos and other trips, be sure to visit my photo gallery at

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