Following in Prince Phillip's steps
Today we are visiting the northern island of Genovesa, also known by its English name of Tower. It is a huge but dormant volcano with part of the rim collapsed and the whole caldera filled by sea water. We are able to sail in but the entrance is shallow so our captain has to be careful and we anchor near one of the internal cliff faces.
Our first option today is an early-bird kayak outing. Our bright yellow kayaks follow the cliffs and get first peak at the amazing seabird experience of Genovesa. After breakfast everyone heads ashore to Darwin Bay, a white coralline beach with an option of short and longer walks, both with ample time to discover the behaviour of the fascinating birds. Frigates, red-footed bobbies, Nazca boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, herons, storm petrels and tropicbirds! There is also an option to swim or snorkel from the beach and to snorkel in deeper water - some folk see hammer-head sharks!
This afternoon we land on a different part of the island and climb up Prince Phillip's Steps - named after the Duke of Edinburgh. We follow a trail over the cliff top and through a Palo Santo forest to a cracked lava plateau. We are told to look out for the elusive Short Eared Owl and advised how very difficult it is to spot them. Which is why, no doubt, within 20 metres of starting the walk we view two beautiful owls standing next to our pathway! In fact, within 3 feet of us. Our guests think we have placed them - not true! The owls are not bothered with our presence and we have fantastic views and take plenty of photos. We continue the walk and see hundreds of nesting Nazca boobies, some frigates, some marine iguanas, and .... another owl. The sun sets and we make our way back to our ship very happy indeed.
A magnificent ending to a wonderful week in Galapagos!