Today we visited the southern side of the Galapagos, spending the entire day exploring the oldest island, Española. Here, we no longer saw lava flows or active volcanoes, but we did have signs of a volcanic past: lava rocks.
In the morning, we anchored at Gardner Bay on the north side of Española. Here, we had the opportunity to snorkel from the white sand beach. The marine life was just astonishing! We spotted large schools of fish, a sea turtle, marine iguanas, sea lions, and many other surprises. It was a fantastic morning!
In the afternoon, we navigated to Punta Suarez, where we had the opportunity to walk among hundreds of marine iguanas and observe many sea lions, playing in the surf and resting on the beach.
The large numbers of sea birds took our breaths away. Everywhere we walked, there were Nazca boobies. Close to them were swallow-tailed gulls mixed, mixed in with the marine iguanas, all dotting the lava rocks, the beach, and cliffs.
Española is also home to the largest bird in the region, the waved albatross. Every year, many thousands of individuals nest across the island. Today, while visiting one albatross colony, we witnessed the birth of a baby albatross, possibly the first this season! What a pleasure to see this tiny creature just beginning to move underneath its parent on a soft nest.
All this, combined with a beautiful sunset!