"" Writer's Wanderings: Galapagos Journal - Floreana Island, Post Office Bay

Monday, May 20, 2013

Galapagos Journal - Floreana Island, Post Office Bay


After our lunch, we were all invited to take a zodiac ride and an optional short walk to Post Office Bay. The zodiac ride took us around and between several outcroppings from Floreanna Island where there were different colonies of sea lions and a bachelor "pad” as well.

Our first area revealed a heron waiting patiently in a rock crevice as he anticipated a crab lunch. The crab seemed to be waiting him out as well. Neither one moved. Suddenly we saw another crab approaching the hidden heron and we expected there to be a successful hunt for the bird. Fortunately for the crab, he sensed something and stopped short. Unfortunately for the bird, it was probably going to be a longer wait for lunch—maybe even into dinner.

We found the sea lion bachelor colony to be very quiet. This is where the males go when they are done with their safety patrol for the young ones in their family colony and it's also where younger males grow until they are big enough and mature enough to go off to begin the mating process. They take time off and relax and rejuvenate by eating and sleeping. (Probably a lot of belching too.) When they are ready to mate and take on the next male who is dominating a colony, they head for wherever the females are and the battle for supremacy reigns.

This bachelor colony looked like quite a resort with large cactus growing everywhere and nice easy slides into the sea and a simple climb out back into the sun and shade. No fighting here that is unless, as our naturalist said, a female should meander by.

Just before we left the lagoon-type area, a brown pelican preened and posed for us then perched in a tree and watched us warily. Something just doesn't seem right about seeing pelicans in trees especially when the branches bow so much with their weight. Looked a bit precarious to me.We took the obligatory pictures and then headed into the beach to make our way to the Post Office.

The Post Office is a barrel (one of many that has replaced the original) where you can leave postcards or letters and have others deliver them for you. There is no postage of course. You deposit yours and pick up any that might be near where you live to deliver. 

The post office was established in 1793 by Captain James Colnett who placed a wooden barrel there and spread the word that those who stopped could leave mail or packages and then pick up others to be delivered as they got to their destination. It was a great way for whalers who were usually gone two years at a time to get messages home to family. The tradition has continued through the years although now it is just tourists participating.

We found two cards that were not far from our home and we hope to deliver them in a few days. It will be fun to see if the cards we left to be delivered to our grandchildren will find their way to them. A fun tradition to carry on. By the way, don't we look dorky in our expedition hats? Glamour played no part in this trip. 


2 comments:

Erin Erkun said...

I was curious about seeing pelicans perched in trees -- both in the Galapagos and elsewhere, so I looked them up. Apparently, their skeletal structure is so light that they can easily perch on branches that are just finger-thick.

Karen said...

That's amazing, Erin. Thanks for the information. Who would have guessed they would be so light?

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