Tower Island, or Genovesa Island, is home to over one million seabirds. Our highlights here were diverse, including Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, blue-footed boobies, gulls, owls, fur seals, hammerheads sharks, turtles, and manta rays.
Our adventure began with a walk that started at the famous Prince Philip’s Steps. Nazca and red-footed boobies and frigatebirds surrounded us. I was able to find the first elusive short-eared owl. Then we spotted three more of these diurnal raptors along the cliff. This unique view of the only camouflaged owl on the island left us feeling rewarded. Today was a red-footed booby day, and we spotted frigatebirds everywhere, including chicks. Nazca boobies are starting their mating season.
Back aboard, we prepared for our last snorkeling outing to search the undersea realm. We enjoyed close encounters with turtles, fish, fur seals, and playful sea lions.
After this great adventure, we came back to the ship where it was anchored inside Genovesa caldera. We were briefed about our departure and enjoyed our last delicious lunch, the pride of our culinary staff.
We were ready to start off our next adventure, which was a wet landing on a white coralline beach inside Darwin Bay. The bay was named by William Beebe, a celebrity visitor, in honor of Charles Darwin, the great naturalist who redirected human thought. At high tide, we walked over a platform where we were surrounded by birds of all kinds and their chicks. We observed their behavior and colors. We were moved to watch the parent seabirds take care of the juveniles, hoping that one day they can fend for themselves. We were also happy to find a few marine iguanas. They are smaller and darker on this island in the northern hemisphere. Each island has a different ecology and like in a Petri dish, the results are different.
Taking this walk was like being transported back in time. Birds flew all over like in prehistoric times, and lava formations resemble the first foundation of Earth. Later, it was time to return to the ship and reminisce about our many experiences throughout this wonderful week. As we look back and gaze at the islands for one last time, this place now seems timeless to us. We will carry our memories deep within our hearts, as our experience on these islands is unforgettable. The wildlife has no fear, allowing us to realize that we are not so different.
“We must not acknowledge the methodical saying ‘don’t humanize the animals’ but instead ‘animalize the human’ by perceiving our surroundings with all our senses; embracing nature by coexistence and respect for one another, so we can become one with nature as we once were.” Celso Montalvo
We have all bonded like a family, united by an invisible mysticism. As our journey ends, we hope to stay in touch. We know that the experience our guests had this week will stay with them for a lifetime.