Jan 04, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II
Genovesa is a low and flat island, located on the northern hemisphere, and home to over one million seabirds. Due to the isolation of this island, there are no land reptiles have ever settled here, leaving this place solely to the various winged species of the archipelago. Our morning begins with a walk along Prince Philip’s Steps location, inland. We find Nazca, red-footed boobies and frigatebirds. All of the desert vegetation, such as palo santo and muyuyo trees looked still gray, as the rain has not started yet. Along the trail, we are also able to spot frigatebird chicks and juveniles being fed by their parents. On the rocky terrain, we observe hundreds of lava tubes, and thousands of storm petrels fluttering along the seashore, as they try to land. Short-eared owls, the only diurnal predator on the island, are seen hunting. Our young guest Kaden captured an incredible moment on camera!
Our other group has enjoyed a wet landing on a white coralline beach inside Darwin Bay, named in honor of the great naturalist who re-directed human thought, Charles Darwin. We walk along the trail, surrounded by birds of all kinds with their chicks, observing their behavior and colors. We are moved to see these interactions between these individuals, and we are grateful for the opportunity to observe them up close without disturbing them. We are also happy to find a few marine iguanas, which are the smallest marine iguanas found on the archipelago, and of course, they are the best example of adaptation, supporting millions of years of natural selection. In the afternoon, we switch groups to give everybody the chance to experience the same areas.
Back on board we prepare ourselves for our last snorkeling outing of the week, one last opportunity to explore the undersea realm. Today we had incredible close encounters with playful sea lions. The feeling of exhilaration when they swim by you is indescribable, and that excitement will be part of our best memories forever.
After this great adventure, we come back to our ship, the National Geographic Endeavour II, anchored inside Genovesa caldera, to reminisce on the memories we are going to take with us from this paradise…
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