Voyage 8419

Silver Galapagos: Northern Central



Day 1 - May 10, 2014 - Baltra

At 1:00 p.m. the first of our new guests arrive in Zodiacs accompanied by Expedition Staff members. They are already smiling –a committee of sea lions and Blue-footed Boobies met them at the pier and welcomed them to the Galapagos Islands.

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Day 2 - May 11, 2014 - San Cristobal

A boardwalk leads from the Centro up Cerro Tijeretas, “Frigatebird Hill.” It winds its way through endemic vegetation, a mix of short trees, cactus and shrubs, up to viewpoints from which we can see Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. At the top there is a statue of Charles Darwin standing beside a sea lion, a marine iguana and a land tortoise, and clutching a book entitled “Galapagos.”

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Day 3 - May 12, 2014 - Genovesa Island

In the afternoon I disembark on the beach in Darwin Bay. This time I share my walk with Galapagos sea lions that line the shore basking in the sun. The vegetation is a strange mixture of prickly pear cactus, short scrubby trees, and red mangrove forest surrounding a small lagoon. As on top of Genovesa, there are birds everywhere along the coast. I take a close-up photograph of a Red-footed Booby’s prehensile webbed feet and a video of the male frigatebird’s courtship display. In the lagoon a Yellow-crowned Night Heron stands patiently in the water waiting for prey.

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Day 4 - May 13, 2014 - Santa Cruz Island

We disembark early to begin a walk on North Seymour Island. The terrain is littered with red-brown volcanic boulders, ranging from brick to beach ball size. My path picks its way across this landscape. Silvery palo santo trees sprout up between the rocks.

My wildlife sightings begin almost immediately as I catch sight of a large yellow-brown lizard with neck spines and a wrinkled throat patch marching determinedly through the underbrush.

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Day 5 - May 14, 2014 - Rabida Island  

In the afternoon we sail back to the coast of Santa Cruz and a place called Eden. A stiff breeze cools the afternoon sun as I board the Zodiac. We head out through choppy seas to a thick coastal mangrove forest growing on black volcanic boulders. As soon as we are among the trees, the water calms and we silently drift among the stilt silt roots watching for wildlife. I see a swirl in the water –it is a sea turtle.

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Day 6 - May 15, 2014 -  Española Island

Gardner Bay is one of those pristine beaches you see pictures of in glossy magazines. Fine cream-coloured sand squeezes between my toes as I find a spot to lay out my towel. I share the beach with at least two dozen Galapagos sea lions which seem oblivious to my presence.

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Day 7 - May 16, 2014 -   Plazas Island  


In the afternoon I visit my final island before Baltra and the airport. Introduced goats were removed from South Plaza in 1961 and endemic flora and fauna have flourished as a result. Birdlife crowds the rugged shoreline: Blue-footed Boobies, Swallow-tailed Gulls, and Nazca Boobies. I take a lovely photograph of a Nazca Booby chick. It will be my Christmas card for this year.


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