Genovesa Island

Mar 16, 2019 - National Geographic Islander

We navigated north and crossed the equator in the wee hours of the morning. The captain carefully brought us into the sunken caldera of Genovesa Island, dropping anchor promptly at dawn. Our crew soon had the Zodiacs and kayaks in the water, and our naturalist Pablo took a group paddling along the base of the cliffs. The conditions were spectacular. The bay seemed still as a mirror and seabirds were soaring and resting, courting and nesting everywhere!

After breakfast we made a wet landing on a gorgeous white coral beach and took an unforgettable walk along the sandy edge of mangroves and salt bushes, where male frigatebirds with puffed red gular pouches courted females beside nesting Nazca and red-footed boobies. Some of our guests accused us of saving the best walk of all for last: I must agree that Genovesa makes lasting impressions among those fortunate enough to witness it.

Next on our schedule were options to either relax on the beach or snorkel from the Zodiacs. Clear and warm sea conditions, many fish, but also hammerhead sharks, and a spotted eagle ray were highlights for the snorkelers. Those who stayed on the beach watched a pair of bull sea lions tussle and play while the rest of us swam in the warm shallows with myriad birds flying overhead.

Our afternoon walk up the uneven Prince Phillip’s Steps was lovely in the cooling afternoon and late golden light. We were delighted to find several short-eared owls and many more nesting frigates and boobies. Our week’s trip is over, but we will not likely forget “las islas encantadas!”

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About the Author

Socrates Tomala

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Socrates was raised on Santa Cruz Island located in the heart of Galapagos Archipelago.  After a childhood filled with swimming, scuba diving, rock climbing and volunteering in conservation projects, he grew very passionate about the outdoors and the natural world. 

About the Photographer

Lynn Fowler

Expedition Leader

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, and one of seven children, Lynn grew up in various university towns where her father was a professor of physics. Lynn obtained her B.A. in biology from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, followed by a master’s degree in zoology from the University of Florida, which encompassed a study of marine turtles in Costa Rica. She arrived in Galápagos in 1978 and became one of the first female naturalist guides working for the Galápagos National Park.

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