After a good nights sleep we felt fresh for days adventures, which was just as well as out first stop was a dry landing on Bartolomé Island and a walk of four hundred steps to a 360 degree look out at the top. This was one of the reasons we had picked a tour which took in the north of the island so we were excited as we got off the dingy and started the climb in hot warm sunshine. On the way up we took some time to look at the lava structures, purely for interest and in no way to sneak in a little break on the way up. At the top the view was splendid. On the island opposite we could see a huge black lava stream which had formed 120 years ago - it increased the island size by 2mk! There were already some early pioneer plants establishing themselves which in turn will eventually make the soil required for more complex plant life. Looking over the edge and straight down to near where we had started the walk we could see the outline of a crater just below the water line which formed a lagoon. Sadly we could also see some big groups making their way up to the view point as well so we enjoyed the relative solitude for as long as possible.

After going down and into the boat we had a quick turn around and had a wet landing close by for some snorkeling. We swam around pinnacle rock which is doing well to still exist, in the past it had been used for target practise by the American battleships that used to patrol the area. The snorkeling was good and I was trying to use our camera a little more and got behind the group when a sea lion jumped into the water much to everyones entertainment. Eleanor was furiously trying to see where I had gone with the camera but I eventually caught up and did my best to take a snap of this graceful creature.

While heading back to the boat rain started to pour out of the sky and we gave a sympathetic glance to those who were still at the top of 400 steps exposed to the worst of the elements as we settled in for lunch - great timing on our part. The rain happily cleared for our afternoon snorkeling session, this time it was from the boat into deeper water rather than from the beach. We essentially floated with the current down a rocky channel. Fleetingly we saw a small shark and a manta ray but most importantly we also saw some penguins sitting on the end of a rocky outcrop at the end of our swim. To get back to the boat we had the choice of swimming up stream or jumping in the dingy. Eleanor took the sensible option and stuck her thumb out for a lift. Colin on the other hand had a brief dream of being an Olympic swimmer and thumbed his nose at this offer and decided to swim for it. It turned out that the current that had been sweeping us along was in fact far stronger than I had thought and by the time I got to the boat I had been through several moments wondering if in fact I had the strength to make it as I seemed to be putting in a large effort for pitiable gains.

Tonight was our last night on the boat so there was always going to be something of a party atmosphere in the air. On the boat when we had arrived was a delightful Danish family who we had chatted to over meals at various times. The father was a wind turbine designer which reminded me of my time listening to fluid dynamics talk at University. The children were charming but for those that took them on at their favorite game, Uno, they did seem to have a certain fluid attitude to the rules. Our guide tried and failed to win several times and was suspicious of any Danish talking but I think perhaps the possibility remains that they were just better than the rest of us, certainly they had practised more. Karen, our outgoing Australian passenger, kicked off the evening with Pina Colada's and was soon joined by Eleanor and others. The other passengers who we had befriended included Gemma, born in England but 'defected' to Australia who was happily travelling but her mother had told her to be home by Christmas, an Italian couple where his English was weak until it came to haggling for goods at the airport, a lady from Tasmania who had come from a fantastic cruise in Antarctica and who wanted her daughter to come and live on the Galapagos islands (even offering to look after the kids!) and an English lass who made everyone very jealous when she told us she was on 3 months paid gardening leave! Back to the party and most of us had moved to the rear of he boat to watch several large sharks circling the light which itself gave them a menacing glint in their eyes. A sea lion popped up and kept hiding at the back of our boat and we thought it was afraid of the circling sharks but in fact the sharks eat the scraps of fish sea lions leave behind. When it came time to eat we saw that the crew had dressed very smartly for the occasion. They gave us a drink and passed around an envelope for tips with the comment 'we can get a bigger one if you need it'! In fact the crew had done a great job and I think everyone was sad to see the end of this part of their trip coming to an end.