Tower or Genovesa Island is home to over one million seabirds. Our highlights here were diverse, from Nazca, red-footed, & blue-footed boobies, to gulls and owls, to fur seals, hammerhead sharks, turtles, and manta rays.
Our adventure began with a wet landing on a white coralline beach inside Darwin Bay. The bay was named by celebrity visitor William Beebe in honor of Charles Darwin, the great naturalist who redirected human thought. At low tide, we walked over a platform surrounded by birds of all kinds. We spotted their chicks, and we observed their behavior and colors. We were moved by the sight of so many active seabird parents taking care of their juveniles, hoping one day they will fend for themselves. We were also happy for one of our guests, who spotted the only marine iguanas that are smaller and darker than the ones found in the southern hemisphere islands. Each island has its own ecology and like in a Petri dish, the results are different.
Back aboard, we prepared for our last snorkeling outing to search the undersea realm. Today we had close encounters with many fish and playful sea lions; seeing them up close brought excitement and admiration.
After this great adventure, we came back to our ship anchored inside Genovesa caldera. We were briefed about our departure, and we enjoyed our last delicious lunch, the pride of our culinary staff. After lunch, we opted for our last kayak outing.
We were then ready to start off on our next adventure at Prince Philip’s Steps, where we were surrounded by Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, and frigatebirds. We found our first elusive short-eared owl and observed it from an extremely close range. We felt rewarded to enjoy a unique view of this camouflaged diurnal raptor. Today was an owl day! Little did we know that we were going to have close encounters with them. Taking a walk was like being transported back in time. Birds fly all over, like in prehistoric times, and lava formations resemble the first foundations of earth. Later, it was time to return to the ship and reminisce about our many experiences during this wonderful week. As we look back and gaze at the islands for the last time, this place now seems timeless to us. It is now deep within our hearts, and our experience has been unforgettable on these special islands with wildlife that has no fear, allowing 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 surroundings 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 like a family, united by this invisible mysticism. At the end of our journey, we hope to stay in touch. We hope the experience our guests had this week will stay with them for a lifetime.