Genovesa Island’s location in the North Hemisphere gave us a chance to cross the equatorial line and become so-called shellbacks. Genovesa is also home to one of the largest colonies of red-footed boobies worldwide. It also has a healthy population of great frigate birds, swallow-tailed gulls, Nazca boobies, and yellow-crowned night herons. It’s also home to the short-eared owl, which has adapted to the lack of predators (including the top predator, the Galapagos hawk) by hunting during daily hours. And there they were—very active looking for prey when the sun was still very high in the horizon.
National Geographic Endeavour II
We are experiencing an unusual rainy season in the Galapagos. We woke up to a beautiful blue sky at Urbina Bay with clear views of volcanos surrounding our ship. By 8:00 a.m., we were ready to explore Urbina Bay. The bay was underwater until 1954 when the powers of nature pushed the area up almost 20 feet. Over time, the area became the home and nesting grounds of many species, including land iguanas. The largest tortoise on Earth is found here near Alcedo Volcano. We made a wet landing. As soon as we disembarked, we observed a prehistoric creature basking on the beach, one of the well-known dragons of the Galapagos Islands. The black marine iguanas are the only seafaring lizards. Along the trail, we found yellow iguanas, or land iguanas. These iguanas do not swim and spend 99% of their time looking for food on the ground. We also observed giant tortoises and nesting mockingbirds. It was a hot day, and we enjoyed a little dip in the water to end our successful morning. We had a very busy afternoon with kayaking, paddleboarding, and snorkeling in Tagus Cove. We ended the day with a great hike and a dinghy ride during a magnificent sunset.