We arrived in Academy Bay, Santa Cruz after a slow but comfortable 8 day
passage for the 1000 nautical mile (2000 kilometer) voyage from Panama.
Santa Cruz (originally named Indefatigable after HMS
Indefatigable) has the largest population in the Galapagos, about 2,500
people. The majority are involved in tourism in one way or another, the
rest in farming, fishing and general business. About two thirds of the
island is national park. The islands are administered by the Ecuadorian
Navy and the Fisheries and Wildlife Department.
The anchorage, looking towards the town of Puerto Ayora which is the
largest town in the islands.
The tour boats come and go on 3, 4, 5, and 7 day trips around the
islands. Seems to be no shortage
of tourists flying in.
Some fairly large cruise ships as well.
Everything apart from local produce is imported from Ecuador. I don't
know how often the ship comes,
but it spent 6 days unloading when it was here. Though the ship
wasn't large, everything had to be
transported in on small lighters as you see below....one of them with a car
Near our dinghy dock...hotels on the foreshore and a sea lion on the
pier. We had a sea lion on our
little pier one day, but when I waved the bag of rubbish over my head
it obligingly dived into the water.
but mostly we had pelicans and small iguanas featured at our dock.
Downtown Puerto Ayora.
The water taxi wharf. If you don't want to use your dinghy, the water
taxi will come and collect you
and take you ashore for 60 cents (US).
It is quite a pleasant town, very clean. One large supermarket, lots
of bars and restaurants, hotels,
dive shops, tour agents and pensions.
Lots of taxis (four door utes) which take you anywhere around town for US
$1.00 a ride, or longer
trips to the countryside are $10 per hour.
The cafe at the end of our dinghy dock, which is a yachtie hangout with
internet. Although we had
quite a good free government internet in the anchorage ....except we could
not get email.
Street vendor selling crushed ice and syrups
The fishermans wharf - this is the best wildlife show in town when
the fish are being cleaned...
Sealions, pelicans, iguanas, frigate birds, boobies...about the only
tourist attraction missing here are
The fishermans favourite bellying up to the bar for a tasty snack.
Can't resist taking a bite, while the pelicans look on
Wait for me, wait for me...
Even the famous blue booby turned up. This bird is an icon of the
Bet you can't open your mouth this wide....
....down it goes.
Hmmm...how about iguana for dessert?
This bird normally hangs out in the mangroves eating frogs and small
know what it thought it was doing here at the fish market.
This cactus is native to the Galapagos, and the only one to have a