Our yacht moored off the island of Genovesa, the most northeastern island of the archipelago, while we took panga excursions to go and explore.
Snorkelling and kayaking in Darwin Bay were so exciting. The bay is a sunken caldera – perfectly round with a gap at one end, so you’re literally snorkelling along the inside wall of a volcano; mind-blowing! Sea lions and fur seals were relaxing on the rocks, along with pelicans, iguanas, sally lightfoot crabs and birds. We kayaked first, getting close to the face of the wall, nearly bumping into a sea lion dozing on a rock; needless to say he didn’t look too pleased.
Snorkelling next, with pelicans diving down just a few feet away from us as they fished, bobbing back up with mouths full of water and hopefully fish. It was fun trying to time yourself with their dives so that you move your view from over to under the water to see them make their catch. Also quite challenging because of their speedy freefall dives, but fun when it worked. An underwater camera would be a bonus, not just for this but also for the myriad of colourful fish, as well as the ray and shark that can be encountered.
With other snorkelling trips providing turtles and penguins, there’s a lot going on to photograph in the Galapagos waters! We had a gentle hike one afternoon. We started with a wet landing on a white sandy coral beach where four sea lions relaxed, not at all bothered that we were close nearby. We continued over lava, through low bushes and past hoards of nesting frigate birds displaying their bizarre courting ritual, as well as gulls and red footed boobies. We walked up along a lagoon gently filling up with the incoming tide where we saw stingrays and mullet fish swimming around in the clear, shallow water. Climbing the hill to a beautiful viewpoint allowed us to see the whole bay in the evening light. It was a lovely day, very active, but with enough time to relax. Definitely ready for some sleep, up early for another adventurous day tomorrow!
The Galapagos never cease to enthral, next time I’ll bring a better camera!