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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Hybrid Iguana Island

The Plazas are two teeny weenie islets, one of which (South island) supports both marine and land iguanas. Unfortunately neither island supports average foot traffic, but the lizards hang around the tiny landing, so I went.

And here are some pictures of an iguana. According to the sites I saw, hybrids are darker than this, but I have no explanation for a land iguana OR a marine iguana with these markings.

The white stuff is all petrified guano. Very slippery, which is what makes walking so difficult. So right after I took this picture, I went back to the boat.

Hybrid iguanas are all sterile, the product of marine fathers and land mothers. You can read about it here:

Plazas Island Galapagos

Our final stop was Santa Fe, which is just overrun with sea lions. And while I was there, and the others were hiking, I filmed an attempted sea lion rape by a juvenile male of a still infertile young female. No one likes to see or hear about this sort of thing, but it happens. I have tried to upload some videos but Blogger won't allow it. There have been a lot of recent incidents, according to the log, so we'll see. I'll keep trying.

But here's a still anyway.

Our plan was to pack before bed that night and put the luggage out. It's less formal and hectic than on a big ship. You can see where your stuff is all the time. They can't lose it. Unfortunately Millenium, or the ocean, or the Captain, had a different idea. and so began the night from hell. We couldn't stand up or walk in the cabin, so we had to set the alarm for 5 AM to pack. It wasn't Drake Passage rough, but there was no sleeping and no moving except to try to keep from being thrown out of bed. Luckily, we just don't have that much stuff with a rule about no more than we can carry. But it was godawful, and we knew it would be a long day, flying all the way from San Cristobal to Lima. Unbeknownst to us, it was about to get longer.

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