Genovesa: a truly magical place

Trip Start Dec 19, 2008
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Trip End Dec 30, 2008


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Flag of Ecuador  , Galapagos Islands,
Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Genovesa: definitely the highlight of this cruise so far. It's our third day in the cruise. Unluckily, I didn't get enough sleep because sailing across treacherous waters for 7 hours overnight wasn't really fun, but the pain was all worth it. This island is truly magical! Thank God for Dramamine as well. 

We had a wet landing (we had to wade through water to get to the shore) at Darwin Bay, the only beach in Genovesa island.  We hiked for an hour to check out the bird colonies. The birds were practically ubiquitous-- they were everywhere. We had to essentially watch out where we were walking so as not to step on some of the baby birds. This was also the first time that I get to catch a glimpse of the famous red-footed boobies.

There were other types of bird species that were also present such as masked boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, finches, etc. It was very difficult to remember at first which bird is which, but my discrimination skills greatly improved over time.

What's great about Genovesa was that the birds were fearless. They would go on and do their usual daily routine of gathering food, courting, mating, taking care of their young, etc. right before your very eyes as if no one's watching. It's mind blowing to witness babies spread their wings for the first time and not get bothered by the curious crowd. Simply phenomenal!

After the 2 hour hike, we snorkeled at Darwin Bay, where we encountered more sharks (some of the people in my cruise saw hammerheads), stingrays (i.e. eagle and manta) and wide variety of colorful fish.

After lunch, we sailed to the other side of Genevosa to access the "Prince Philips Steps" in order to take our chances of seeing the elusive Galapagos Owl. We were fortunate that day! After climbing at least 20 steps to the top of Genovesa, we were greeted by amazing views of the Pacific Ocean. We eventually saw two owls, with one of the owls aggressive enough to expose her legs to its audience. It was my first time to see an owl in real life.

Undoubtedly, Genevosa should be a part of any itinerary to the Galapagos!
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