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Santiago Island
May 9, 2005
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Baby sealions A marine iguana taking it easy One of the rock pools
We were woken up at 6.30 this morning. First stop was Santiago Island, with a wet landing. We walked along the shoreline and saw lots of marine iguanas eating the algae off the rocks. We also saw a very young (about 2 weeks) sea lion with its mother, and two slightly older (about 4 weeks) babies on their own. They were really nice and still quite furry. As usual there were loads of Sally Lightfoot crabs and we found a lot of discarded shells - they shed there shells seven or eight times in their life when they are growing. I managed to fall over again as the rocks were very slippers - but strangely it was very slow and graceful! We looked in lots of rock pools and found some really big ones with fur sea lions resting in the crevices. We also saw two marine iguanas having a fight. One had bitten a big lump off the top of the other one's head! We walked back through the centre of the island and it was boiling hot. There were lots of prickly pear cactii and the hawks were circling overhead.

After that we snorkelled from the beach. It was strange because the beach was black sand (volcanic ash) and REALLY hot on bare feet, and the water got deep really quickly - you got a bit of a slope and then it just dropped away. There were lots of rocks to watch the fish around, but the water was quite cold and we didn't stay in it too long. You got big hog fish even in the very shallow parts though, so even if you were paddling you could have a good look.

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