Visiting Isla Isabela in the Galápagos Archipelago

Beach Walk

A view of the beach, including an old lava flow in the foreground.  

After walking the Choncha de Perlas trail, Marcie and David wanted to go back to the boat but I felt like going for a walk ashore. This was no problem as they said they would come back later to pick me up. We split up and they headed back to Nine of Cups; along the way they managed to locate the landing for the white-tipped reef shark trail. Meanwhile, I walked across town, suddenly self-conscious of my grubby appearance. I had worn my rattiest jeans expecting to do nature walks and wet landings. But here I was walking through the center of town on Easter Sunday in ripped shorts. I hadn't brought my wallet either, so I had no money or ID.

I walked back through town to the central beach, observing curiously and snapping pictures here and there. At the far end of the beachfront park I climbed a tall wooden observation platform that overlooked the harbor and took in some scenic views. Nearby there was an old lava flow that had oozed its way across the beach, and I found small pieces of sulfur around a dormant fumarole. I could still easily detect the rank odor of sulfur emanating from the fumarole.

These are two different baby octopi (they were roughly fist-sized). They appeared to be stressed, if not dead, from exposure to the hot sun.

Here's a small picture of one of the red crabs (which I believe is a ghost crab).   I think these sand balls are produced by the ghost crabs. At first I though the sand balls were from cleaning out their burrows, but many sand balls are far from the burrows. I also saw faint scratch marks by some sand balls that made it look like the balls were formed on the surface.

I spent quite a while walking along the beach, and I had a good time observing nature and taking lots of pictures. Most of the beach was sandy but there were occasional rough lava outcrops that retained small tide pools. Small fish had become trapped in some of the pools and when you walked up to the pool and loomed over them the fish would dart hither and thither frantically. In two shallow pools I saw a baby octopus only a few inches long; both looked very stressed if not dead from exposure to the hot mid-day sun. Along one section of the beach I saw the small red crabs that live in holes in the sand. There were numerous crab burrows and the beach was covered with thousands of tiny sand balls that the crabs must deposit for some reason or another. I walked as far as the the trail to the tortoise breeding center and spent a while at the trailhead trying to photograph a big and active dragonfly.

I really enjoyed taking pictures and indulging in my hobby and I spent much longer than expected wandering about. When I got back to the central beach, Marcie and David were waiting for me by the tourist pier. It was clear they had been waiting a while and they both were a little miffed that I had tarried so long. As soon as we got back to the boat, I started to wash the decks since they were pretty grotty. This is one of my chores and I should have washed them yesterday after we arrived. They looked nice once I finished.

The dragonfly was very active and hard to photograph.   American oystercatchers browsing along the beach.

Previous Page   Next Page   Section Contents Page   Main Contents Page   Sailboat Cruising Page   Home Page