Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Galápagos Day 6 (morning) - Tagus Cove, Isla Isabela

We were back on Isla Isabela this morning anchored in Tagus Cove. I was not feeling well so opted to not take the steep climb to the lookout over Darwin Lake and Tagus Cove. Fortunately, Jo (obviously made of sturdier stuff than I) did take the climb and got some great shots along the way.

Stairs up the cliff to Darwin Lake lookout, Tagus Cove, Isla Isabela, Galápagos
Photograph courtesy of Joanne Smissen
Darwin Lake lookout, Tagus Cove, Isla Isabela, Galápagos
Photograph courtesy of Joanne Smissen
View from Lookout, Tagus Cove, Isla Isabela, Galápagos
Photograph courtesy of Joanne Smissen
Panga landing, Tagus Cove, Isla Isabela, Galápagos
Photograph courtesy of Joanne Smissen

While I stayed on board I took the opportunity to try more shots of the (now common after meal times) Storm-petrels, dancing on the water next to the boat.

White-vented Storm-petrel, Tagus Cove, Isla Isabela, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/800

These dainty little birds manage to 'walk on water' while feeding from the surface.

White-vented Storm-petrel, Tagus Cove, Isla Isabela, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/1000

and hardly cause a ripple when they take off.

White-vented Storm-petrel, Tagus Cove, Isla Isabela, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/1000

In the past Tagus Cove was used as a safe anchorage for pirates, whalers and traders and a tradition started where sailors would carve or paint the name of their ship on the cliff wall. This is now prohibited but the evidence of more than a century of the practice remains.

Tagus Cove, Isla Isabela, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/200

The morning walk was followed by a panga ride around the cove. I joined the ride, which was considerably less strenuous than the climb up and down the cliff.

Panga pick-up, Tagus Cove, Isla Isabela, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 180mm, ISO 400, f/6.3, 1/500
Panga ride, Tagus Cove, Isla Isabela, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/800

As with many of the other places we had visited, the rocks on the shore were covered in barnacles. Jo has spent years studying the surf barnacles on south-eastern Australian shores so she is always interested in seeing new barnacles. I had been trying for a few days to get a half decent shot and, this morning, I finally managed to get a photograph that was in focus...a small reward for Jo's earlier cliff climbing efforts :-)

Barnacles, Tagus Cove, Isla Isabela, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/800

The ride around the cove uncovered some of the (now) usual suspects but it's always good to try and get another photograph of them. Flightless Cormorants were hanging out their wings and preening.

Flightless Cormorant, Tagus Cove, Isla Isabela, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 140mm, ISO 400, f/6.3, 1/320
Flightless Cormorant, Tagus Cove, Isla Isabela, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 130mm, ISO 400, f/5, 1/500

This one was taking on the barnacles on its way to the water.

Flightless Cormorant, Tagus Cove, Isla Isabela, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 82.5mm, ISO 400, f/5, 1/800

A Galápagos Penguin stood on the rocks.

Galápagos Penguin, Tagus Cove, Isla Isabela, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 160mm, ISO 800, f/5, 1/800

This Brown Pelican fished in the water while another watched on from above

Brown Pelican, Tagus Cove, Isla Isabela, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 180mm, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/2000
Brown Pelican, Tagus Cove, Isla Isabela, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 122.5mm, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/500

We returned to the boat, changed into swimming gear and went snorkelling along the north cliff of the cove. Snorkelling with penguins and cormorants is quite and experience!

This afternoon, a panga ride among the mangroves of Elizabeth Bay.

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