Saturday, July 13, 2013

Galapagos - Urbina Bay


ISABELA ISLAND - URBINA BAY

Day 7 of our Celebrity Xpeditions finds us on Isabela Island, which is by far the largest island in the Galapagos Archipelago.  It is composed of of 6 shield volcanoes - Alcedo, Cerro Azul, Darwin, Ecuador, Sierra Negra and Wolf that over the years have coalesced into one island.  All of these volcanoes are considered still active with the last volcanic eruption occurring in May 2008.

There are five different subspecies of giant tortoises spread upon their slopes; almost all of the wonderful photos of these giant tortoises you may have seen were probably taken here.   Today we had our first opportunity to find the giant land tortoises (Galapagos).

Urbina Bay, a beautiful, small bay located at the east base of the Alcedo volcano.  The bay coastal area was uplifted 12 - 15 feet along a shore line of over a mile.  The violent action happened so quickly that it trapped crustaceans, echinoderms, mollusks, and fish species inland. 

The trail starts on the beach where a wet landing is made, the tour is approximately 3200m, and runs through sand substrates, pumice rock, lava, coral and vegetable formations in a coastal area that has had a lift; in addition burrows of land iguanas can be seen.

This area is also directly affected by the Cromwell Upwelling Current.  The Cromwell is a dep water current traveling along the equatorial line form the western Pacific eventually coming in contact with the Galapagos Archipelago.  This nutrient rich, cold water comse to the surface with temperatures reaching the mid 50's (10 -13 degrees Celsius).

View our Galapagos - Urbina Bay photo album for more images of our morning excursion on the Island of Isabela.

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