Day 2

Red-footed booby

Marine Iguana

We cross the equator overnight to reach Genovesa, or Tower Island, by morning (approximately 8 hours of navigation). This is the most northeasterly of the Galápagos Islands and one of the best places to observe marine birds. It also provides an overview of many of the other species we might see over the next few days. After breakfast, we board our panga for a short ride through the crater of this horseshoe-shaped island to the first visitor site, Prince Phillip's Steps. Following a dry landing (no need to step into the water as we disembark onto the rough lava steps), we climb up a short, steep trail that leads to the top of the cliffs and from here take the winding path inland through dry forest vegetation. We pass through one of the largest red-footed booby colonies in the archipelago, watching as the birds roost in trees, build their nests or incubate their eggs. We also observe masked boobies and great frigatebirds as we hike towards the 82-foot-high cliffs on the far side of the island. Here we observe thousands of Galápagos storm petrels as they wheel overhead, and we might possibly spot the short-eared owl, a diurnal bird who preys on them. Returning to the dinghy after about 2 hours, we ride past the cliffs looking for Sally lightfoot crabs, marine iguanas, lava gulls, brown noddys and red-billed tropicbirds. We may possibly spot school of hammerhead sharks in the caldera. After lunch, a wet landing on the white coral beach of Darwin Bay's shallow crater, gives us the opportunity to swim or snorkel in calm, clear turquoise
waters (good opportunities to see spotted eagle rays or golden cownose rays). Later, we watch more marine birds including swallow-tailed gulls, great frigatebirds, lava herons and yellow crowned night herons as well as large ground finches and large cactus finches as we hike along a trail that winds its way to the top of the cliff from where we have a great view of the bay. Both sea lions, and sometimes fur seals, are present as well. Returning to the yacht, we enjoy dinner and a briefing on tomorrow's activities before beginning our 8-hour overnight navigation to the next island.


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Introduction | On board info | Weather | Best part | Turtles | Fish | Sea Lions | Iguanas | Birds | People

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