Our first full day in the Galapagos starts well with high energy and optimism. After breakfast we are in the Zodiacs, heading out to the island’s landing to be welcomed by several species of birds, crabs and sea lions. In the interior of the loop trail, the nesting sea birds are abundant. Frigates are nesting, and for that the males inflate their red gular sacs to the size of soccer balls that are then displayed to females for mating. Some sit on the eggs and are already raising young.

A few blue-footed boobies also are nesting. Most have young mature enough to learn to fly and dive for fish. The interactions among all of the inhabitants here are quite interesting and sometimes even unpredictable. Sea lions here find areas with sand or vegetation to rest. Land iguanas draw water and eat from succulents like the local prickly pear cactus. Marine iguanas sunbathe, gathering heat before they enter the water for algae foraging.

Later after a couple of hours of navigation, we anchor at Rábida Island, unique for the abundance of iron in its rocks, giving the appearance of rust. Here we snorkel to enjoy the other equally beautiful and sublime world of the Galapagos, its underwater life. Fish of all varieties, shapes and colors. Sea lions, rays and sharks abound. The land shows a magical beauty, the beauty of its noble occupants. Sea lions are the stars of the show along with greater flamingos that we see in flight over the sea to land on a brackish water lagoon in search of shrimp – their main food and what gives them their pink coloration. With plenty of photos and memories gathered, we end the day with the sun falling behind the volcanoes of large Isabela: our next destination.