This morning begins the final full day of exploring the Galápagos Islands. Today’s schedule begins very early at 5:30am. Pikaia arranged for a doctor to come on property to administer a Covid-19 test which is required for our re-entry into the United States. Obviously, we were both a bit nervous to get our results as it would mean our exploration ends immediately and we would be subject to some form of quarantine. The test we took was a rapid test and 15 minutes later were were told we both passed. We felt relieved that we could continue our trip. We had some coffee and cookies, and left to board Pikaia I once again around 6am.

The reason for the early departure this morning was due to the distance we had to travel to Bartolome Island. It was one of the furthest islands Pikaia would take us to, and boy was it worth it. After having breakfast on the Yacht and traveling for approximately two hours, we approached Bartolome. We would pass Daphne Major and Daphne Minor, where we snorkeled previously with the Manta Rays. This time, the Frigates decided to hitch a ride on the Yacht instead of just flying over it.

Frigate on the side of the Pikaia I Yacht
Frigate on the side of the Pikaia I Yacht

We approached Bartolome to find several other Yachts anchored off the coast. We would be located in Sullivan’s Bay and took the tender onto a black lava landscape.

Approaching Bartolome Island

Our guide explained the lava was still shiny like glass and this indicated the lava flow is not very old, maybe 300 years old. 300 years old in volcanic land mass is like yesterday. It was miles of lava landscape as far as we could see.

We got off the tender and I barely noticed a lava heron perched on the rock’s edge hunting for it’s meal. It didn’t seem to mind we nearly stepped on it.

Lava Heron
Lava Heron

After about 30 minutes exploring the lava field, we knew it was going to be the hottest day yet. We had put sunscreen on prior to the trip, but I began to wonder what area of my body I might have missed. I would surely know by tomorrow as it would be scorched. We made our way back to the tender and went up the coast line is search of Penguins. We found one!

Taking a picture of a Galapagos Penguin
Galapagos Penguin
Galapagos Penguin

After some picture taking, we headed over to dock on Bartolome and climb the ~300ft to the summit. There were lots of stairs and walkways to make our way up, and did I mention how hot it was!

Climbing Stairs

The climb was worth the panoramic view of the bay.

View of Pinnacle Rock
View of Pinnacle Rock from the summit

After the scorching hot climb to the top, it was time to Snorkel. We were excited just to get into the water to cool off. Little did we know it would be our favorite moment of the entire trip. We took some more pictures while on the tender heading back to the Yacht to change.

Our snorkel trip started off just off the coast of the beach in somewhat shallow water. We immediately saw a White-tipped Shark swimming along the bottom. Then, all of a sudden, a young Sea Lion came rocketing by us chasing the Shark.

After it got bored playing with the Shark, it started to swim with us. It would come swimming right at us and dive down or turn before ramming us. It was super playful.

At one point, it even bit my GoPro! At that point, I was a little nervous about my fingers and had to keep pulling my camera closer to me as it came charging. I have a great video of the interaction that I will post separately. After we left the Sea Lion, we were amazed at the sight of a Penguin swimming between us if the water. I immediately turned to follow it only to find 4 more! We swam along with them for a few minutes. At one point, the current pushed me close to one of them who decided to turn around and peck at my GoPro! Apparently animals in the Galapagos are really curious about GoPros. Again, this video will be posted separately.

After the Penguins swam away, we finished up and headed back to the Yacht. Even though we were so hot earlier in the day, this water was so cold it was nice to get out. The Yacht pulled out of Sullivan Bay and headed back to Baltra. We past the iconic Pinnacle Rock along the way.

We got back to Pikaia Lodge around 6pm and got ready for dinner. It was another misty night as we walked to the restaurant.

Galápagos Islands
Explore this photo album by Adam Woods on Flickr!
Galápagos Islands
Videos from our trip to the Galápagos Islands.
Galápagos Islands - Adam Woods
Below you will find all the posts related to our trip to Ecuador and The Galápagos Islands.