The day started early - this is the norm for photography trips.   5:30 am breakfast and then at 6:15 we went out on the pangas for a boat trip thru Black Turtle Cove.   The panga ride took about 1.5 hours and it was beautiful.

The cove we were in was so peaceful and quite beautiful.   

There were birds above the water and lots of critters in the water.   The water was fairly clear so we could see them and we all laughed and joked about how whenever our naturalist said the sharks were coming, we all put our arms in the water with our go-pros to film them.   Guess it's good they were little ones with no interest in us or our arms!

It was actually difficult to film the sharks under water hanging over a boat... I got them out of frame a few times, but the video above will give you an idea of what they look like.

Above the water were found a lot of pelicans.    The pelicans have a brown color all the way to the crown when they are nesting.   When they aren't nesting, they are grey and white.   Immature pelicans have light grey on head and chest and white underneath.

white headed pelican sits on the top of a tree
brown headed pelican preens his feathers
a brown headed pelican - nesting

We watched birds fishing deep in the mangroves.  It is absolutely fascinating how they can balance and stretch so far.  This video is a slowed down version of a Strained heron fishing from the mangroves.

A striated heron sitting deep in the mangroves

A striated heron deep in the mangroves.

We watched and photographed another type of heron fishing as well.  Unfortunately, I didn't find out what type this one was.  It was amazing to see how they hung on to the branches sideways and upside down and how much their bodies stretched in order to catch the fish.

A heron stretches far to catch its fish
The heron holds onto the branch with his body hanging off the side and in the water

Towards the end of the panga ride, we were lucky enough to see Cow Head Golden Rays.    They swam by the boat several times and I was lucky enough to get this video of them.   Absolutely beautiful, graceful and peaceful creatures.   I have no idea why they are called Cow Head Rays.

After the Panga Ride, we boarded the boat and stopped at Bakers Island for fuel.  A few people got off the boat and took a bus to the airport in order to get some soda and ice cream.   I decided to stay on board.

We motored back to another part of Santa Cruz Island and stopped at Bachas Beach.   The beach was absolutely stunning with beautiful sand.   

Lava rock on the sand with the ocean

There were a lot of lava rocks with tons of Sally Light Foot Crabs.  I took a few pictures and videos but I preferred to just walk on the beach awhile and just sit and listen and watch the waves coming into shore.   I mean, how many pictures of crabs does one need?   

The red, white and yellow crab on a black lava rock

Although, I do have to admit, they are fascinating creatures.   Watching how they move - being able to be sideways on the side of a lava rock.  The hairs on their feet, their buggy eyes...and of course, their incredible colors!

As the day started turning later, a lot of birds started fishing off the beach.   Watching the boobies fish was incredible they literally look like a speeding bullet.   Several of the members of the group were photographing them but I was so relaxed by the sounds of the waves with the sand beneath my feet, I decided to just enjoy with my eyes and not my camera.

We walked back down the beach and several of us did some stretching yoga - it felt so good!   Then back on the pangas to the boats for dinner and rest.

pelicans on lava rocks with the sky and water

To see images from my Galapagos and other trips,
visit my travel gallery at

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