Tower Island, or Genovesa, is home to over one million seabirds. Our highlights here were diverse, including gulls, owls, fur seals, hammerhead sharks, turtles, manta rays, and Nazca, red- and blue-footed boobies.
Our adventure began with a wet landing on a white coralline beach inside Darwin Bay. The bay was named by a celebrity visitor, William Beebe, to honor Charles Darwin, the great naturalist who redirected human thought. At low tide, we walked over a platform. We were surrounded by birds of all kinds and their chicks. We observed their colors and behaviors. We were moved to see so many active seabirds, especially the parents taking care of juveniles, hoping that one day they will fend for themselves. Guests spotted a few marine iguanas. These iguanas are smaller and darker than the ones found on the islands to the south. Each island has its own ecology that acts like a Petri dish to produce different results.
Back aboard, we prepared for our last snorkeling outing to search the undersea realm. We had close encounters with many fish and playful sea lions. Seeing them up close caused excitement and admiration.
After this great adventure, we came back to the ship anchored inside Genovesa caldera for a briefing about our departure. We enjoyed our last delicious lunch, the pride of the culinary staff.
After lunch we opted for our last kayaking.
We were ready to start our next adventure to Prince Philip’s Steps, where we were surrounded by Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, and frigatebirds. Guests spotted an elusive short-eared owl. We felt rewarded to get a glimpse of the only camouflaged, diurnal raptor. Today was a red-footed booby day, and we also spotted frigatebirds. The bachelors have long, weighted, red gular pouches to attract females.
Taking this walk was like being transported back in time. Birds flew everywhere like they did in prehistoric times. Lava formations resembled the first foundation of Earth. Later, it was time to return to the ship and reminisce about our many experiences over this wonderful week.
As we look back and gaze at the islands for the last time, this place seems timeless to us. It is now deep within our hearts. Our experience on these special islands has been unforgettable. The wildlife here has no fear, allowing us to realize that we are not very different.
“We must not acknowledge the methodical saying ‘don’t humanize the animals’ but instead ‘animalize the human’ by perceiving our surroundings with all our senses and 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 like a family, united by an invisible mysticism. As our journey ends, we hope to stay in touch. We know that the experience our guests had this week will stay with them for a lifetime.