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Sailing the Galapagos

Our yacht spent today moored off the island of Genovesa, the most northeastern island of the archipelago, while we took panga excursions to go and explore. I have to say, this has been my favourite island.

Snorkelling and kayaking in Darwin Bay was 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 sealion 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. I wished I had an under-water camera, not just for this but also for the myriad of colourful fish below me, as well as the ray and shark that we encountered.

With other snorkelling trips providing turtles and penguins to boot, there’s a lot going on to photograph in the Galapagos waters! We had a gentle hike in the afternoon starting with a wet landing on a white sandy coral beach with four sea lions relaxing, 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. Up the hill to a beautiful viewpoint we could 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!