Oct 13, 2017 - National Geographic Endeavour II
Genovesa is home to over one million seabirds. There were so many highlights today—the diversity of sea birds, unique landscape, the only diurnal owl in the planet, Nazca, red-footed & blue-footed boobies and gulls nesting in close proximity, fur seals, hammerheads sharks, turtles and manta rays.
Our adventure began with a walk at the famous Prince Philip’s Steps, where we were surrounded by Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies and frigatebirds. The walk was amazing, all around us birds were nesting or building their nests, feeding their babies, or just resting. Afterwards, we prepared for our last snorkeling outing of the voyage. We had close encounters with many fish and playful sea lions for the last time and even sharks; seeing them up close brought excitement and admiration. After this great adventure, we came back to our ship anchored inside Genovesa caldera to be briefed about our departure, and enjoyed our last delicious lunch from our talented culinary staff.
We were then ready to start our next adventure, which was a wet landing on a white coralline beach inside Darwin Bay, named by a celebrity visitor, William Beebe, in honor of a great naturalist who re-directed human thought, Charles Darwin. The tide was high as we walked over a platform surrounded by birds of all kinds and their chicks. It was moving to see these active seabird parents taking care of the juveniles, preparing them so that one day they will be able to fend for themselves. We were also happy to find a few marine iguanas, which are smaller and darker on this island, as this northern hemisphere island has much different ecology. Taking this walk was like travelling back in time. There were birds flying all over, like in prehistoric times, and lava formations resembling the first foundations of Earth.
Later, it was time to return to the ship and reminisce about the many experiences of such a wonderful week. As we look back and gaze at the islands for the last time, this place now seems to be timeless to us. This week has been special, because we have made new friends and experienced this unique place on earth called Galapagos, where the animals are not afraid of humans, and humans have learned not to be afraid of animals. It is deep within our hearts, and we will never forget our experience on these special islands.
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