After a 5-6 hour sail last night to reach the northern island of Genovesa by 2am, we woke up to a 7th grade science throwback: Darwin Bay is a must-visit site for evolution supporters and birdwatchers.
Starting with a 9am landing on a white coral beach we hiked a leisurely half-mile trail through bird-filled mangroves.
We saw Nazca Boobies:
….Galápagos red-footed Boobies:
and Swallow-Tailed gulls:
We then arrived at tidal pools where Galápagos Sea Lions regularly choose as one of their favorites spots for swimming and playing.
At the path’s end we took in the views from the cliffs:
After returning to the beach where we made our landings, we took our rented snorkeling gear for a 30 minute test run.
While swimming around here, a sea lion jumped in from the beach and joined us!
Back at the boat for lunch, our onboard chef was waiting for us to give a crash course lesson in Ecuadorian cerviche:
After our meal, we returned for our first hour of wetsuit snorkeling back at the cliffs.
Then after another 2 hour siesta, we returned to the cliffs for another hour of kayaking and paddle boarding.
More of a workout than a leisurely activity, we were told to paddle back to our boat, after which we then showered and freshened up for a 2 hour return visit back to another part of Genovesa Island.
This time instead of a beach with sea lions, we docked at Prince Philip’s Steps pier, which name was given after Prince Philip had visited the Galápagos Islands twice.
Here the vegetation amongst natural rock formations allows for a variety of seabirds to inhabit Genovesa.
Carefully navigating our way down wet and slippery lower rocks, we began our hike near another small colony of Galápagos sea lions before reaching a vantage point further up with views of the lava plains. Birdlife surrounded us from all sides.
And then it hit me; this was the moment where it all came together how the Galápagos was such a special place. Very little can beat the sight and sounds of blue-footed boobies, red-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, Galápagos owls, and Galápagos pigeons all communing together at dusk.
With the sun dipping below the horizon at 5:45pm behind us, we promptly dinghy’ed back to our quarters to sample the Ecuadorian drink Canelazo (made with cinnamon, anise, naranjilla, and sugar), before dinner!
Then with the anchors up again, our captain sailed south towards Santiago Island as we all tried to go to sleep riding the waves, reaching there by 2am.
- At time of posting in Genovesa, Galapagos, it was 21 °C - Humidity: 24% | Wind Speed: 34km/hr | Cloud Cover: partly sunny