Genovesa Island

Oct 26, 2018 - National Geographic Endeavour II

Today was the last day of exploration around the Galapagos Islands. It has been a wonderful experience and a great week. We have seen all of the astonishing nature of Galapagos, and Genovesa is the perfect icing on the cake—the grand finale!

To start off the day, we disembarked at Darwin Bay, surrounded by tons of seabirds gliding through the sky: Red-footed boobies, frigatebirds, swallow-tailed gulls, Nazca boobies, red-billed tropicbirds, lava gulls and more. It was clear that Genovesa had earned its nickname as “the island of the birds”.

Along the path on Darwin Bay, we were quiet, enjoying a relaxing walk and appreciating every single second here, surrounded by the sounds of the incredible animals; it is a place where we, as guides, follow the rule “less talking more enjoying” and more observation too. It seems to be the end of the dry season in Galapagos, the morning was outstanding, and we enjoyed all the unique fauna and flora, like the opuntia cactus with soft and very tiny spines, because of the absence of predators like land iguanas or giant tortoises. Among the red mangroves, the red-footed boobies were building their nests, while on the shrub-shaped cacti, finches and mockingbirds were working hard to find some food to eat. Another unique feature of this island is the fact that owls here are diurnal, as a result of the absence of the archipelago’s top predator, the Galapagos hawk. The morning was warm and the sky was very clear.

After our hikes, we came back to our ship, to suit up and head out for snorkeling along the shore, for one more taste of the amazing marine wildlife of Galapagos. Others went kayaking or paddle-boarding along the cliff, in search of a colony of Galapagos fur sea lions found there.

In the afternoon we disembarked in Prince Phillip’s steps. The walk was marvelous, frigatebirds and Nazca boobies were very active, and we saw newborn chicks being fed by their parents; at the end of the trail we found owls.

On our way back to the ship, the sunset lit up our faces and the cool breeze refreshed our minds. I was thinking about all the experiences of this week, full of enjoyment and adventure.  We finished one more week of expeditions on board of National Geographic Endeavour II around the Galapagos Islands, my home, a magical place to be.

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About the Author

Christian Saa

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Christian was born on the island of Isabela in the Galápagos archipelago. He grew up on a farm and had a magical childhood devoid of cars, electricity, telephones—just pure nature and playful sea lions along the beach. At the age of seven, he moved with his family to Santa Cruz Island, the economic hub of the Galápagos Islands. His father began to work in tourism and took Christian around the islands during school vacations. It was during this time that Christian learned to love and understand the real value of this unique archipelago, and he decided to devote his life to its stewardship. A lifelong passion for nature and its creatures took root in his heart, and he eventually decided to become a naturalist, which he has now been doing for 18 years now.

About the Videographer

James Napoli

Video Chronicler

Jim was born in rural New England where he quickly developed an appreciation for the outdoors and a love of exploration.  Four years with the U.S. Navy further enhanced his appetite for travel. Always interested in the visual arts, he studied Television at Boston University and Northeast College of Communications, landing his first job in the industry working as an editor at a Boston television station. His wanderlust drew him to a job with two major cruise lines; installing and managing broadcast centers onboard a total of over a dozen ships. He has since moved on to specialize in expedition travel and wildlife productions.  

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