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GALAPAGOS: Genovesa Island & Fernandina Island
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On our second afternoon in the Galapagos Islands, we made a dry landing at Prince Philip’s Steps on Genovesa Island, an area renowned for its myriad bird species.
What may appear at first glance to be a tender moment between a mother Nazca Booby and her juvenile offspring was, in fact, a remarkably insistent pestering from the young’un demanding his mother to let him feast on the partially digested fish in her gullet.
“Feed me!!” he seemed to say. She eventually did, albeit somewhat reluctantly.
I do not for the life of me remember the name of this tiny flowering ground cover, but I do remember how amazing we thought it was that something so lush and green could grow in the middle of such a barren, lava-dominated landscape.
The next morning started off with a rush of excitement as we spotted a pod of Bryde’s Whales cresting and spouting water from their blowholes as we made our way to Fernandina Island, the youngest and most pristine island in the Galapagos chain.
It quickly became one of our favorites, with a vast array of wildlife spread across the coastline’s recent lava flows.
One of the most amazing scenes we got to witness on Fernandina was a Flightless Cormorant Mating Dance, in which the two birds on the left wooed one another (both in water and on land) while the two ladies on the right tried to hone in on the action.
It reminded us of Cinderella and her ugly stepsisters at Prince Charming’s ball.
At the end of our morning hike on Fernandina, we finally turned our view away from the bustling wildlife activity of the coast and climbed rocks to get a majestic view of the La Cumbre Volcano, which erupted back in April 2009.
With the 4,842-foot volcano in the background and a mixture of lava, greenery and the multi-hued lava cactus in the foreground, it made for a stunning final shot before we returned to the Eric for our next adventure. –by Bret Love; photos by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett
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