Ahoy! Today on the island of Floreana, the southern most point of the Galapagos Archipelago we found pirate caves! The pirates and other native inhabitants were attracted to the island for the source of freshwater it offered. The pirates first came to the island in 1593 and were mainly English pirates. This spring is the only palace in the entire archipelago where fresh water can be found. After the rainy season (December to May) on the island the fresh water seeps through the stones and then gathers as it pours out of the fissure. Pirates were able to use Floreana not only for the fresh water source but it provided a look out over the entire island, were they had the ability to control the seas. The volcanic rock that the island is made out of is easily carvable which made it for the pirates to use it for protection and hunting. The pirates made caves not only for sleeping in, but some had chimneys (do you think Santa climbed down those?) as well that were used for fire when cooking. On the top part of the island there were small canyons with notches on either side that were used to trap pigs or other animals inside with wooden beams and then shot at from above for food. Another major source of food for the pirates on the island were the giant tortuous’s that lived on the island, they were easy to catch as they move very slow. As well as they can live for up to a whole year without food or water so they were brought on the ships for a constant supply of fresh meat when on the journey back to mainland England. Here is an activity for the kids: have them draw their own pirate map to where they would hide their own treasure! What kind of treasure would it be?