Although our expedition ship anchored off Post Office Bay at 6AM, the island has been luring visitors since the 18th century when whalers looked for tortoises for fresh meat and pirates hid in the caves. Sailors established a rustic mailing system – still used today. A mailbox in the form of a barrel nailed to a pole received letters from letters and subsequent sailors would deliver them. These days it’s popular with tourists, encouraged to sort through the pile of mail and retrieve the mail to deliver in their home town. We missed mail from two couples, friends living in Cyprus!
Highlights of Day 5 activities included:
- Visit to Post Office Barrel, Post Office Bay, then leisure time on the beach
- Deep-water snorkelling (for Alf) off Champion Islet
- Guided nature walk Punta Cormant
- Lecture from naturalist
Wildlife highlights on Day 5 included:
We had settled into a very busy life on board an expedition ship. Typically, it was breakfast at 6.00AM, with a full morning of hikes, nature walks and snorkelling adventures. After a light lunch we relaxed a little, before afternoon activities and lectures. It was extremely social, meeting fellow Brits, Americans, Canadians, Australians and Swiss. We also heard German and French on board. Expedition cruises are very informal and there is a relaxed dress code.
Returning to wildlife, which is a passion for most visitors to the Galapagos, Floreana has a sea-lion rookery on its northern shore – a small colony of the creatures thrive, with favourite resting places in the sun on the lava. Interestingly, pups are particularly curious with human visitors, arriving by Zodiac – they love to enter the water and greet visitors.