Life Begins At...

Life Begins At ...Autumn 2017

Life Begins At.....

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T R A V E L GENOVESA ISLAND - AN ANCIENT CALDERA One of the most western islands, Genovesa was the fi rst stop on the adventure. It's a caldera that is slowly sinking into the ocean, hence its crater is fi lled with the sea. Underwater life is teeming with beautiful Galapagos reef fi shes. Some super bright, like the big rainbow coloured Parrot Fish. We spotted Sea Lions and scalloped Hammerhead Sharks. Hammerheads are generally a very shy shark, and not so dangerous. The hammerheads were the highlight of Genovesa, but a real Avatar moment was wading in the shallow lagoon on the beach. Here we watched Nazca Boobies and Red Footed Boobies with their chicks in the mangroves. Frigate Birds puff their red balloon-like throat pouches, while Sea Lions frollicked in the shallows, just magical. BLACK TURTLE COVE - PANGA RIDE Black Turtle Cove at Santa Cruz Island is a lagoon fi lled with Golden Stingrays, Cowtail Stingrays, and Green Turtles. In the lagoon, Skipjack Tuna can be seen leaping from the sea chasing bait fi sh. The lagoon - a pastel painting with refl ections of the mangroves and glimpses of mating Green Turtles, Cowtail Stingrays and the fi ns of baby sharks. The turtles love it here as it is protected, a place free from predators like the tiger sharks. For the bird lovers, we spotted lovely birds like Eliott Storm Petrel, Blue Footed Boobies, Great Blue Heron, Striated Heron, Whimbrel, and Yellow Warbler. ESPINOSA POINT - IGUANAS A PLENTY Lazy marine Iguanas sloth around in the mangrove trees. The huge skeleton of a whale was an incredible sight with Volcano Fernandina behind. Baby Sea Lions play on shore and in the shallows. Other wildlife spotted included Galapagos Pelicans, Galapagos Hawks, Green Turtles, Lava Lizard and Flightless Cormorant. Espinosa Point is also an ideal place to cool off with snorkelling and checking out the parrotfi sh and green turtles. TAGUS COVE - FULL OF SURPRISES A short hike will have you gazing at the azure Darwin Lake or a little further on the expansive views of the Isabella Island lava fi elds. For us, the real surprise at Tagus Cove was its underwater world. While snorkeling along the cliff faces we spotted sea lions, penguins, Green Turtles, two large White-tip Reef Sharks, even a Cormorant swimming underwater. A magic moment for my son Chris was when a Golden Eagle Stingray swam up to him from the depths. For me, it was watching two baby sea lions frollicking underwater in the shallows. PUERTO EGAS - BLACK SAND The black sand and blue rock pools on the sea side of Santiago Island is a spectacular sight. We all marvelled at the clear water, the playful Galapagos Fur Seals (different to the sea lions) and the volcanic foreshore Autumn 2017 92

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