SAN CHRISTOBAL 2
So much for our Sea lion protection – This morning I came up on deck to see a large sea Lion sprawled out on our cockpit cushions. The sea Lion must have tried every seat in the cockpit before he settled on the one in the corner.
There was hair, snot and crap everywhere and it took a good hour to clean it up. All Penny could say ‘did I take a photo’, which of course I forgot to do!l
A couple of days ago a group of us hired a taxi and did a tour of the island. We first visited one of the local beaches where we saw more sea lions and marine iguanas, which are quite fascinating as they are the only iguanas in the world that live off the green algae on the sea bed. They can only stay in the water for a limited time as their body starts to shut down due to the cold, so every so often they need to come out and warm themselves in the sun. At first they were hard to spot as they are as black as the volcanic rock on which they lay. But once you got your eye in you realised these prehistoric reptiles were everywhere. It was like stepping back in time…about 10 million years.
From the beach we headed in land to the site of an old volcano, 650 metres high, which is now a large fresh water lake, due to the altitude the vegetation is a lot more lush than the coastal areas.
Nearby is the giant tortoises breeding centre. The tortoises have nearly been wiped out, first by the mariners that came here in the 18th and 19th century and then by the goats and feral cats that are on the island. The Tortoises can live up to 150 years, which I can understand as they don’t seem to be very active – they hardly seem to move.