I’m going to break up the Galápagos Islands into several posts, to make it (hopefully) easier to follow, and so that it’s not just a wall of pictures. I have another post all about logistics, which isn’t terribly exciting, but might be useful to anybody planning a trip. We booked a one-week trip aboard the M.Y. Darwin, which took us to most of the islands, in a mostly stress-free manner. Our first day started with a flight from Guayaquil to Baltra, where we were picked up and rushed to the boat, which was waiting for us to leave.
After a quick lunch and a seminar on what to do if the boat started to sink, we reached Mosquera. This small sandy islet is mostly populated by sea lions and colourful Sally Lightfoot crabs. These are ridiculously common everywhere in the Galápagos, but it’s exciting to see them for the first time. It’s a bit like seeing zebras on safari: the first day we were fascinated, but then they become part of the scenery.
Juvenile Sally Lightfoot crabs are black, to blend in with the volcanic rocks. Adults are bright orange and red, and may be big or agile enough to be safe from predators despite being so visible. The Galápagos Sally Lightfoots apparently groom dead skin and parasites from marine iguanas, as well as scavenging.