Genovesa Island

May 25, 2019 - National Geographic Islander


Last night we left Bartholomew Island and found ourselves by sunrise arriving at Darwin Bay on Genovesa Island. This bay is a caldera that National Geographic Islander shall call home. Genovesa is one of the most beautiful islands in the archipelago, being home to several species of oceanic seabirds such as red-footed and Nazca boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, and many others.

We started our day with kayaking and paddle boarding along the cliffs of Darwin Bay, which presented great conditions. We successfully paddle toward the ship and on the way saw multiple Galapagos fur seals and Galapagos shearwaters flying in all directions.

After breakfast we went ashore to explore a white sandy beach where we found many male Great frigatebirds with their large red pouches sitting on the bushes. We saw few male frigates succeeding to attract females and found many frigates already incubating on their nests.

During the second part of the morning, we headed to the cliffs to snorkel from Zodiacs and encountered several species of fish as well as Galapagos sea lions and fur seals. We also had some guests enjoying the beach and all the animal activity around this location.

For this afternoon, we headed to another location, this is known as Prince Phillip’s steps, where we had a dry landing and were greeted by a large number of Nazca Boobies, frigate birds, and Red-footed Boobies.

We walked on a rust-orange lava flow. From the distance we observed lots of Galapagos storm petrels flying over the cliffs and lava flow. On this island, the top predator on land is the short-eared owl, and luckily we found two. These owls have the luxury of hunting any time of the day they please as they are the only predator across this island.

We returned aboard after this great walk and ended the day with the capitan’s farewell cocktail and a lovely dinner.

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About the Author

Gilda Gonzalez

Naturalist

Gilda was born in Ambato, located in the very heart of the Ecuadorian Andes. Since she was a child, she loved animals, often rescuing street cats and dogs. Her parents always made sure there were nature books and plenty of Jacques Cousteau’s videos at home. She graduated from high school with a degree in chemistry and biology. Afterwards, Gilda obtained a B.A. in tourism and hotel management in Quito. She also studied English, French and German, later spending two months in Brussels, Belgium.

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