Shortly before midnight, our captain had the crew start up our engines and haul National Geographic Islander’s anchor. We had a long and slightly rocky navigation north as the wind pushed us along and across the equator. We anchored at dawn in the flooded crater of Genovesa. This island is at the edge of the archipelago and is home to at least a half-million seabirds!
First on our schedule were the early-riser kayakers; they had a good workout and returned to the ship amazed at the number of birds that inhabit this island. After a hearty breakfast, we all went ashore for a walk along the mangrove and saltbushes where frigates, red-footed boobies and Nazca boobies were plentiful. The juvenile red-footed boobies – who still have grey feet – were lined up by the dozens in the shrubs and appeared as curious and interested in us as we were in them. A dozen guests remained on the beach to swim, read or simply contemplate this peaceful place. Sea lions and shorebirds joined us from time to time on the beach, as did the women crewmembers of our ship!
In the afternoon, we saw fur seals and tropicbirds as we cruised along at the base of the cliffs. On the hike there were nesting boobies and frigates and to our delight, a couple of tawny short-eared owls. We motored back to the ship as the sun set in a brilliant orange ball of fire. We have had yet another absolutely incredible day in the magical islas encantadas of Galapagos!