May 24th: A Whole Lot Of Boobies

Today we woke up for a 7:00am breakfast and a hike on Darwin Beach, Genovesa.  During our wet  landing on Genovesa, Royale lost her waterproof camera in the ocean.  We hiked along the beach where we saw basking Galapagos Sea Lions, Swallow-tailed Gulls, Great Frigate birds, Red-footed Boobies and Nazca Boobies.  Once we reached the top of the cliff we observed a Hammerhead shark swimming in the distance and a Marine Iguana swimming in a small inlet.  After the hike, we went on our first snorkeling excursion.  The snorkeling wasn’t the best due to poor water visibility, but many of us were still able to see various sharks and rays.  While exiting the ocean Tim was able to find Royale’s camera and was offered a free Coca Cola in appreciation.

We returned to the ship for lunch and a short siesta (rest or nap).  We then headed out for our second snorkel of the day where we swam with Galapagos Fur Seals and some tropical reef fish.  We returned to the boat, dried off, and then embarked on our next hike up Prince Phillip’s Steps.  At the top we observed hundreds of nesting, juvenile, and adult boobies and Great Frigate birds.  A special treat at the end of the hike was a rare close –up viewof a one-eyed Short Ear Owl, which we nicknamed the “pirate owl”. We then retired to the boat for dinner, showers and species listing.

Quote of the Day: “I yakked and then I saw a shark.  Everything has a silver lining.”

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