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Galapagos Cruise – Day 4: Espanola (Gardner Bay and Punta Suarez)

June 3, 2012

Day 4 saw us arriving at the island of Espanola also known as Hood. The morning excursion was to a beach in Gardner Bay .

The beach was a long expanse of white sand with a huge number of Hood Mockingbirds

and of course a number of colonies of sealions.

At the far end of the beach were some rocks where there were quite a few marine iguanas. The ones found here are a subspecies called the Hood marine iguana.

These marine iguanas are much more colourful than the standard ones who are all black.

On returning to the landing site we went for a swim and were joined by a bay sealion who was amusing himself by swimming circuits around us as we stood in the shallows and then porpoising back to shore.

After our visit to the beach we went for a snorkelling expedition in a small bay on Gardner rock. We saw a couple of marble rays sitting on the bottom here but the highlight was finding a group of juvenile sealions who wanted to play.

In the late afternoon we had an expedition to Punta Suarez which is famous for its seabirds. It is one of the only places in the world that you can see Waved Albatrosses and we were lucky enough to see them both courting and nesting. They court by fencing each other with their beaks and then the male will follow the female to the nesting site.

The most exciting thing we saw here though were Blue footed Boobies who were mating. When they mate they do a little dance where the male waves his feet at the female. It is very endearing.

On Hood we also saw some Galapagos Hawks who are the top predator here.

Punta Suarez was also a great place to see birds in flight. We were treated to flybys off boobies, albatrosses and Tropic birds.

This area of the island is really quite amazing as there were birds everywhere. This is down to the lack of predators in the food chain. The birds are almost completely unafraid of people and you can approach really closely.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Phil permalink
    June 3, 2012 4:47 pm

    Your photography is spectacular. Thanks for sharing!

    Phil

  2. June 7, 2012 4:47 pm

    Hi Mark, You got some great Galapagos pictures – especially the underwater images of turtles, backlit sealions and the moody bottom images of the hammerheads. I hope the rest of the yacht trip was just as good. Best wishes, Ralph (Aqua-Firma)

    • June 12, 2012 6:26 pm

      Hi Ralph, Thanks very much for the praise for the pictures. Thank you for organising the trip for us. We had a fantastic time and everything went well. In the end we stayed at the Hotel Quito on the night before the trip and got free parking while we were away so that worked well.

      Regards,

      Mark

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