Excerpt from the Journal of Olds – Day 409 – Ecuador – Galapagos – Island Tour – Part 3 – Floreana

While we slept the crew had gently cruised us over to the next island on our itinerary – Floreana. Our first stop of the day was the Baroness Lookout which upon reaching we took the opportunity for a group photo at. Not so wildlife-centric a venue, Daniel unfailingly kept us entertained with a wealth of information that I’ve shamelessly since forgotten. It was certainly a beautiful day with the surrounding flora and environment rich in colour and diversity.

After lunch back on the boat we were transferred over to Post Office Bay. The back story here is one of an innovative solution by homesick whalers to agree a spot where anyone passing could leave letters in a barrel. When a vessel happened to be passing en route to Europe or the US the agreement was to take whatever mail they could that was to be delivered in their destination country / continent.

The tradition is kept alive today – but thankfully no longer by Giant Tortoise-scoffing whalers and instead by supposedly more benign tourists. We took the opportunity to ‘post’ a postcard for a newborn Jack Hignett, son of friends Abbie and Nick, which he received in due course. Others amongst our number more imminently homeward bound retrieved any correspondence for their countries from the barrel, committed to posting it on their return, while depositing their own to see how long they’d take to reach their destination with their fate in the hands of others.

A short hike further on took us to the remains of an ill-fated Norwegian fishing village whose hardy inhabitants had not been hardy enough. We had a brief snorkel in the bay before returning to the boat for lunch and some downtime while we transferred to our next snorkelling spot – the Devil’s Crown.

A rocky circular out-crop with a cool name, I don’t recall much in the way of sea life the day we stopped by. I think conditions were a little choppy and I seem to recall thinking that it would be cool if something had been there among us but it’s all good exercise and interesting to explore for a short while.

Next up it was a short ride to Cormorant Point. I recall super-dry mud flats as we wandered toward a beach at the other side from where we’d landed – all is pretty visually spectacular amidst this archipelago but even photos rarely do it justice. Upon reaching the beach we’d set out Daniel recognised we’d dropped in for a rare event and needed to be particular cautious – a host of turtles were mating in the bay then heading in to lay eggs. We observed quietly from a distance for a while before collectively agreeing to give them a little privacy.

Back at the boat it was an evening much the same as the last and a good time was had by all – double time on the beers after a great day.