An Encounter on North Seymour Island in the Galápagos

It took some effort for us to get to North Seymour Island from the Finch Bay Hotel where we were staying.  We had to first walk to the dock to take a boat to the town of Puerto Ayora.   We then got on a bus for a ride from the town (which is towards the south of the Santa Cruz Island) to the north of the island, to the point where one takes the ferry boat to Baltra Island (which used to be called South Seymour Island) to get to the airport.  Instead of taking the ferry to Baltra, we transferred to a rubber dinghy, which took us to a yacht that sat out in the middle of the waterway between the two islands.  We then took the yacht to get around Baltra Island, heading in a south to north direction. We finally made a landing on the rocks of North Seymour Island from the dinghy after transferring from the yacht.  Once on the ground, we followed our guide, Soto, as he took us on a walk along the rocky trail around the island.DSC00295DSC00298DSC00302DSC00310It was towards the tail end of our walk, when we were getting back to the seashore, that the following scene played out.

Soto had sighted two different kinds of sea lions in close proximity to each other on the rocks next to the ocean.  It was apparently something that he did not see that often. Furthermore, he had sighted the pup of the fur sea lion hidden under a rock.  It appeared to be resting.DSC00396It did not take much to wake up the pup and to have it come out of hiding.DSC00398The pup seemed to be well aware of the people who had stopped to look at it, and it was approaching them while making some sounds, while the parent kept a careful eye on it.DSC00402The parent would occasionally try to caution the pup about getting too far away by making some sounds, and the little one would respond, not necessarily by turning back, but by making some sounds itself.DSC00401DSC00408Nothing seemed to stop the curiosity of the young one.  It was also pretty noisy.  There was a different kind of sea lion sleeping close by with its young one.  The pup that was out-and-about tried to wake the other little one up, but there was no reaction.  The parent of this other pup also seemed to be asleep through the whole incident.DSC00414Soto noted that seeing this episode play out was something very exciting and special even for locals like him. We stood by for a while enjoying the spectacle, and then it was time to move on to our next amazing experience on the trail.

The birds and animals of North Seymour Island have not learned to be afraid of people, and tourism is done in such a manner as to protect the environment of these creatures.  The experience that results when you are there is quite unique.

Published by

K. Joseph

I am an engineer by training. I am exploring new horizons after having spent many years in the Industry. My interests are varied and I tend to write about what is on my mind at any particular moment in time.

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