Day 10, December 17th: Floreana Island: Punta Cormorant, Devil’s Crown, Post Office Bay
At Punta Cormorant, on Floreana Island, we land on a beach where the sand has a greenish tinge caused by large amounts of the volcanic mineral olivine. Here sea lions, wading birds and Darwin’s finches all greet us on arrival. We walk past mangroves and unique vegetation, some of which grows nowhere else in the world but this island, to arrive at a saltwater lagoon where startlingly pink flamingos nest and feed. This lagoon holds the biggest population of flamingos in Galapagos.
Next, some exhilarating snorkeling off the Devil’s Crown, a sunken cinder cone. The coral reef in the center is perfect for attracting large schools of fish, turtles, rays and with luck even some hammerhead sharks who could be swimming below us at this site.
In the afternoon, at the historic Post Office Barrel we can send a few postcards home and, in so doing, maintain a centuries old tradition. In 1793, British navigators placed a large wooden barrel here, to leave messages and mail for homebound voyagers. The tradition has continued until the present day, using replaced barrels over time. We will be able to send postcards in this quirky ‘free’ postal service. We can then get back in the water for another snorkel looking for turtles in particular.