Our first night on board was rough – very rough. The boat left port after dinner and for the next seven-eight hours it slogged its way through the ocean and I think I felt every wave. In the night I took some anti-nausea pills and they knocked me out. Gal was fine. In the morning it was evident that I was not the only one on board who had a tough night.
However, I forgot about it as soon as I looked outside.We were at anchor off an island, and hundreds of huge birds wheeled overhead – some of them looking very pterodactyl-like. It struck me that perhaps this is what the sky looked like during the days of the dinosaurs – filled with huge, black, fierce-looking animals, all searching for their next meal.
We were soon in the zodiacs making our way to Genovesa Island, one of the far outlying islands in the Galapagos (hence the long overnight trip). The bird life at Genovesa is incredible – not only is there a huge number of species present, including the hilarious red footed booby, but the birds don’t give you a second thought. Now, I have never thought of myself as a bird lover especially – I always find mammals more interesting, but here it was different. The bird life was absolutely incredible. We hiked in a couple of areas on the island, and everywhere we went, we were surrounded by birds – on the ground, nesting, in the air, and they didn’t care about us. We could get really close, something that is simply impossible anywhere else. We saw mothers feeding their young about a foot away from us, and we saw life and death struggles as well – a dead bird lying here, hungry chicks over there, and elsewhere we saw a bird kill and eat the huge Galapagos centipede – it may not sound like a big deal, until you learn that it’s really poisonous!
We saw frigatebirds, known as “pirates’ in that they are masters at stealing food from others, swallow-tailed gulls and pelicans fishing. We also saw mammals – sea lions, and Galapagos seals curled up on rocks, and as usual our snorkeling was marvelous – we suited up in wetsuits and jumped in…and were in a whole different world inhabited by huge shoals of fish, leopard rays and much more. We did have the underwater camera, but its value was limited – there is a pause between clicking the shutter and the photo being taken – long enough for most fish to swim away!
As for Gal, she was in her element. Teens often find something to complain about but over here, she was in awe by everything she saw – on land, in the air and in the water.
Our day on Genovesa was absolutely awesome in the true sense of the word!
PS: I plan great trips to Ecuador and the Galapagos. Click here for more details.