Today we visited Hood Island, located in the southeastern most realm of the Galapagos Archipelago. We began our first morning by going deep-water snorkeling around Gardner Islet, and later, guests who wanted to snorkel along the shore went to a nearby beach at Gardner Bay. There are many things to enjoy here from the tranquil waters, to Galapagos sea lions sleeping or playing. The Española mockingbird is surprisingly high on this list. This is a very inquisitive bird, and we had firsthand experience of just how curious they can be when they landed on the beach and thoroughly checked our belongings. Some were even looking into our shoes and snorkeling gear!
After lunch we headed for a hike at Punta Suarez, on the west end of Española Island. The lack of fresh water most of the year, rocky terrain, and the dry looking vegetation discourages the most adventurous from establishing themselves in this territory, yet this is the home of the Galapagos waved albatross. Our guests marveled at the way nature can colonize such a seemingly barren place. We reached the cliffs and observed a beautiful show of Galapagos waved albatrosses flying above our heads. Along our path, we found the nest of a blue-footed booby with a couple of young chicks and a father taking a good siesta. We also observed several red colored Galapagos marine iguanas. These reptiles were getting ready to sleep while the tide was rising and covering the algae these animals so eagerly feed on.