Lobos Is

Sunday, January 01, 2012
San Cristobal, Galápagos, Ecuador
Off to Lobos Is and it was still overcast meaning no sun overhead but I am sure that everyone will still get sun burnt.

With the sun burning off the cloud cover, it was suppose to be at 2.30 pm snorkelling time but for some reason we had our hour’s walk and no snorkelling - mix up with the change of itineraries that the National Park introduced today. A boat can not now go to the same iisland within 14 days or else face a US$6,000 fine and worst a 2 month ban from using the vessel. Eighty six boats ply these waters ranging from boats like our 16 passengers to larger ones with 100 passengers. A site can only take 100 people now at any given time. One guide for every 16 people hence why these smaller boats are popular as it is also more personal.

The dry landing was prevented for a short while by this giant sea lion bull blocking the way onto the dock.

Sea lions with their pups, black marine iguanas, blue footed boobies, peliquin and frigate birds were on Lobos Is. Lobos means sea lion.

Now for some useless facts:

- Sea lions have ears unlike seals.
- Males bark females give a different sound.
- They mate at sea but give birth on land.
- The first week babies have difficulty seeing but they can swim straight away.
- Bull sea lion keeps the babies together as they are curious creatures while the mother is out at sea gathering food to convert into milk.
- Females have 4 mammary glands.
- The parents can smell their babies.
- They don’t adopt.
- Females give birth once a year for about 14 - 15 years.
- They are in groups and return to the same area.
- Generally about 30 -40 females are in a harem for 2 - 4 weeks only as the bull sea lion doesn’t eat during this time yet needs to ward off challenging males.
- A male can mate up to 20 times in a day.

Winner takes all!!

Instead of taking heaps of photos (nothing new to take), I decided to sit and take in the animal sights around me - the iguanas and seals. The black marine iguana also came closer and closer and eventually we sat a metre apart and literally stared at each other till it was time to depart.

At 6 pm the crew presentation to the new group and the usual 7 pm dinner.

Depart for North Seymour which is 7 hours sailing away.
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