It is 86˚F at 4pm, and the fan isn’t able to keep up anymore. It actually feels like 90˚F, and inside the corrugated-rooved house, the temperature must be at least a few degrees hotter than that. The waters of Tortuga Bay are calling, so it is time to take the 10 minute bike ride to the Park and the 25 minute walk along the Tortuga path to Playa Brava.
It is an El Niño year, so the northeast Panama Current is warming the Galapagos waters more than usual. Higher water temperatures mean fewer nutrients, which affect the whole marine life food chain (life on land flourishes). The fisherman are not catching as much fish as they normally do this time of year.
The water temperature in Galapagos is similar to that of Southern California, colder than one might expect. This is due to the cooler nutrient-rich Humboldt Current flowing up from the Antarctic. The Humboldt Current is considered the most productive marine ecosystem in the world. Galapagos is located at the confluence of five currents, the Cromwell Current, the Humboldt Current, the South Equatorial Current, the Peru Coastal Countercurrent and the Panama Current. Marine life is abundant when the water is cooler, making this unique location especially appealing to divers. Right now, though, a simple swim, a cool breeze and a beautiful Tortuga sunset should be a nice way to end the afternoon.