Floreana — Punta Cormorant

We continued on the path until we came to a white beach known as Flour Sand Beach, because of the fineness of the sand.  The omni-presence of stingrays (left) precluded swimming or wading.  The Galápagos Green Turtles nest here; below are a couple of photos of tracks—looking a bit like an ATV tire track—made by a female trudging from the ocean to lay eggs in the fine sand dunes and then heading back.

We spent quite some time at this beach and Z took photos of the birds—most, familiar species from the U.S., although much more approachable here than there—that moved around us.  Here are a Sanderling and a ground finch (species uncertain, since all 3 species can be found on Floreana and these photos don’t show the beak clearly)—both alone and together.

A Semi-palmated Plover (right) strolled by.  The name derives from their partially webbed feet (from Latin for “half-palmed”).

A surprisingly undisturbed Yellow Warbler took a bath in a tidal pool.  Identifying warblers in the Galapagos is a breeze, compared to trying to do so in the U.S.  If you can rule out the drab Warbler Finch (pretty easy to do, especially if you’re looking at a male), you can be sure that the bird is a Yellow Warbler.  No other warblers can be found on the Galápagos.

As we headed back, a lone Candelabra Cactus stood sentry on a ridge overlooking the beach.

And 2 very happy travelers ended their last full day in the Galápagos Islands.

Once we got back to the boat, we headed down to our cabin to start packing for tomorrow morning’s departure.  Shortly before dinner, we headed back upstairs to the lounge for the Good-bye Cocktail.  The staff, practically gleaming in their dress uniforms, poured us each a glass of wine and we had a toast.  Carlos spoke for the staff and then translated the captain’s message.  As with the Welcome Aboard toast 6 evenings earlier, a lovely—albeit a tad bittersweet, this time—tradition.

{Left to right: [bottom row, excluding Joyce’s head] Carlos (naturalist guide), Rodolfo (bar attendant/waiter); [top row] Bolívar (a.k.a. Boli—captain), Alfredo (first mate), David (sailor), Alberto (sailor), Curly (chef), Ricardo (engineer).}

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