“We woke up at Genovesa (Tower) Island to find ourselves anchored in the half-moon bay formed by the caldera of a sunken crater”
After a hearty breakfast onboard the Integrity, we jumped into the pangas for a quick ride to Charles Darwin Beach to see Red-footed boobies and Great frigatebirds nesting in the red mangrove bushes. We were absolutely surrounded by wildlife, and so close to the nests that you could see baby chicks, un-hatched eggs and the inflated red pouches of male Great frigatebirds still looking for their mates.
Although it seemed as if we might disturb the birds, they were not startled. In fact, they hardly seemed to be bothered at all. They acted as though they didn’t even notice the humans passing by. It was in this moment that I again felt such a thrill of being able to get so close to the birds and animals in the Galapagos.
As we walked towards the cliffs edge, along tide pools and towards the beautiful view of the bay, our guide Richard told us the tale of two female divers who disappeared in the deep waters beneath us. As legend tells it, supposedly they were lovers who purposefully disregarded their dive masters rules and committed suicide together. Their families have marked the site with small grave stones. Although this is illegal in the Galapagos National Park, there is too much superstition surrounding the events to remove them.
After returning to the yacht for snacks and a break, some guests opted to go back to the beach to snorkel. Others, including myself, chose to go kayaking around the rim of the crater. We floated in the sun in our kayaks and also found a few Galapagos Sea Fur Lions hiding in the cliffs.
The second excursion of the day was a stop at Prince Philip’s Steps, where we saw Red-footed boobies nesting, as well as Nazca boobies. We learned about the birds' elaborate greeting rituals, and were fortunate enough to witness them first hand. It was fascinating seem these gregarious birds perch on branches with their tomato-colored webbed feet.
In the evening, everyone onboard enjoyed a buffet barbecue on the Sun Deck and we watched the sun set into the distance. After dinner, we retired to the main salon where we shared music and enjoyed a spirited game of charades.
Have your own favorite day aboard Integrity
For more information and to get started on your own favorite day, please email or call our expert sales team: (510) 420-1550