Apr 27, 2019 - National Geographic Islander
Today we all woke up as shellbacks! This is a marine term given to anyone who crosses the equatorial line on ship. Historically, though, it was one reserved for the sailors who would spend hours at a time cleaning the deck with their bare backs exposed day after day against the unremitting sun.
Yes, we crossed last night to arrive at a northern island of the Galapagos, and one of naturalists’ favorite: Genovesa Island. This is a land mass home to thousands of birds of different species, including frigate birds, red-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, red-billed tropicbirds, herons, doves, short-eared owls, and finches.
In the morning we visited Darwin Bay, where we got to walk on coral-white sand and have up-front encounters with mating frigate birds and nesting red-footed boobies. In the afternoon we went on top of Genovesa Island to look for our diurnal short-eared owl—and we found it! The Galapagos have showed our guests how charming the world could be if we would all coexist. Our guests leave these lands tomorrow but not without taking with them a lifetime’s worth of memories.
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