Tower, or Genovesa, it’s home to over one million seabirds. Our highlights here were diverse, from Nazca, red- and blue-footed boobies, to gulls, owls, fur seals, hammerhead sharks, turtles and manta rays.
Our adventure began with a walk starting at the famous Prince Philip’s Steps where we were surrounded by Nazca, red-footed boobies and Frigatebirds. My colleague, Christian, was able to find the first elusive short-ear owl and save the day! All of us felt rewarded to have a unique view to the only camouflage diurnal raptor. Today was a red-footed booby day, and also we were able to spot Frigatebirds with their chicks. They were everywhere, and Nazca boobies who were also in the middle of their mating season and more chicks.
Back aboard we prepared for our last snorkel outing in search the undersea realm, though some of us opted for an early kayak outing. Those of us snorkeling had close encounters with many fish and playful sea lions, large female stingray and fur seals for our last snorkel; seeing them close brought excitement and admiration.
After this great adventure, we came back to our ship anchored inside the Genovesa Caldera to be briefed about our departure and enjoyed our last delicious lunch, compliments of our culinary staff.
We were then ready to start off our next adventure, which was a wet landing on a white coralline beach inside Darwin Bay, named by celebrity visitor William Beebe, in honor of renowned naturalist Charles Darwin, who greatly impacted modern human thinking around evolutionary biology. At high tide and over a platform we walked surrounded by birds of all kids, their chicks, behavior and colors. We were first moved by so much active seabirds and parents taking care of juveniles hoping one day they can fend for themselves. We were also happy to find a few marine iguanas which are smaller and darker as this northern hemisphere island has much different ecology and like a petri dish, different results.
Taking this walk was like being transported back in time. There were birds flying all over, like in prehistoric times, and lava formations resembling the first foundation of Earth. Later, it was time to return to the ship and reminisce about the many experiences of such a wonderful week. As we look back and gaze at the islands for the last time, this place now seems to be timeless to us. It is now deep within our hearts and our experience has been unforgettable on these special islands, where the wildlife that has no fear and allows us to realize that we are not so different.
“We must not acknowledge the methodical saying ‘don’t humanize the animals’ but instead ‘animalize the human’ by perceiving our surrounding with all our senses; embracing nature by coexistence and respect for one another, so we can become one with nature as we once were.” —Celso Montalvo
We have all bonded as a family, united by this invisible mysticism. At the end of our journey we hope to stay in touch and that the experience our guests had this week will stay with them for a lifetime.