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James Island, also known as Santiago, is the fourth largest island in the Galapagos chain. The island’s Sugarloaf volcano is now dormant and rises more than 1,000 feet above the coastline. Depending on a trip’s itinerary, people sometimes climb up to the top of the volcano to get breathtaking views of the island.

On the western side of the island, there is excellent snorkeling where people can frolic with the sea lions and see tropical fish up close. Some itineraries take people inland to explore the abandoned salt mine and try to spot the Galapagos hawk. Others go to Buccaneer Cove to see where pirates kept their loot in the 17th and 18th centuries.

My favorite part of James Island is Sullivan Bay. A Pahoehoe lava flow left an otherworldly landscape on this eastern section of the island. Even though the eruption occurred in 1897, it appears like it happened last week. The black lava cooled in ropey waves that don’t seem real until you stand on top of them. There is hardly any life on this island so when you come across a tiny lava cactus trying to take hold on the side of a dribblett cone, it feels both miraculous and desperate.

Would you like to be part of Midge & Snig’s adventure in the Galapagos? Want to have your name (or any name you choose) in my next book? From now until the end of April, everyone who follows my blog, signs up for my newsletter, or leaves a comment, will be entered in a drawing for the chance to name the cruise ship featured in the book.

This post in part of the AtoZ Challenge. Please click on the sunflower AtoZ icon in the sidebar to go to the official list of participating blogs. This year my theme is the Galapagos Islands. I am in the process of writing the first of my Midge & Snig mystery series set in the islands. In my research, I have come across a plethora of interesting facts and images. The vast majority of my research won’t get included in the book, but it’s fun to share what I’ve learned with you all.