To toss them overboard or not?.... In the Galapagos

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South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Isabela Island
February 27th 2023
Published: April 11th 2023
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The magnificent Frigate birdThe magnificent Frigate birdThe magnificent Frigate bird

The red pouch puffs out to gain female attention.

Traveling - it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller. Ibn Battuta

On the oft chance you missed our previous's the link. The Glorious Galápagos Islands Join us for part two of the Galapagos adventure.

Life on a Galápagos cruise offers a great deal of variety. Most of our week was spent taking zodiacs to rather desserted islands for hiking or wandering while observing, enjoying and stalking animals or doing a zodiac coastal exploration of rock formations where the birds, iguanas, and other wildlife enjoyed congregating. It never ceased to amaze us how the animals didn't seem to mind if we came up close. They weren't posing or anything, but there was a sense they had no fear from these weird beings dressed somewhat oddly and so eager to take their photo. Perhaps they simply decided we were no threat. For us, this was simply grand to get up close and enjoy wildlife unique to the islands.

We did go to two towns on the larger islands and it felt foreign to us as they were busy and touristy and felt at odds with what we had experienced the rest of the time. It was almost an assult to the senses. Although it did seem like everyone enjoyed the opportunity to buy some t-shirts and trinkets to support the local economy. We suspect the people who opt for strickly land-based trips would have a different experience. On the remote islands animals are protected and wandering freely.

We were absolutely thrilled at seeing an abundance of the wildlife we had seen in our documentaties back home and dreamed of seeing in person. On one of our first island landings we encountered dozens of red rock crabs bathing in the sun and tide pools while creeping along the rocks. Grapsus grapsus (genus and species of the same name). Everyone was excited and taking multiple photos. Our guide laughed and said they are very common and we would see them on every island. He was suggested we didn’t need to fill our memory cards just yet! This crab is a beautiful orangish, red and blue. They are all different shades owing to how much sun exposure they had, especially when shedding their shells while growing.

During our hikes we learned there are three kinds of boobies! We were keen on seeing the blue footed boobie and indeed we saw more than we could count on various islands. We were thrilled to watch
Land based iguanaLand based iguanaLand based iguana

The Galápagos Islands
groups of them fly high into the sky in formation and plunge into the sea to catch fish. It was reminiscent of watching the Blue Angels jet formations in the U.S. They displayed aerobatic formations. Fortunately we had many opportunities to watch this strategic flight of the boobies. As we mentioned there are other boobies. For some reason we weren’t aware of the Nazca boobie until we were hiking and came upon them nesting. Evidently, we didn’t do enough research. They are adorable. The red footed boobie was not seen in the abundance of the blue footed or as close but this is an amazing looking bird. We were quite taken with them all.

The Galapagos has a diversity of bird life not easily imagined. We are told real birders should go to Genovesa Island. It was not on our itinerary. Not being birders we can’t remember all the birds we enjoyed and many of them were too quick to capture their photos. We can rattle off a few names…. The Darwin finches, oystercatchers, mockingbirds, petrels, flamingos!, the flightless cormorant was in abudance,the Galapagos Hawke puts on a pretty good show flying the skies above us. We saw many gulls and pelicans. The magnificent frigate bird became one of our absolute favorites!

We were fortunate enough to see both the blue footed boobie and the frigate birds doing mating dances. They are fascinating birds and the mating ritual is captivating. The female is in complete control of this process and the man struts his stuff the best he can so he is not tossed aside.

While in the Galapagos you are going to be very close to large land based iguanas, they are tan and brown in color. They give you the evil eye and are rather freaky looking. The marine inguanas are in abudance, they have rich colors of vermillion and green during mating season, otherwise they are black and gray….. they are prehistoric looking and make you want to study evolution in depth.

We got to mingle and swim with sea lions and Galapagos penguins. These penguins are the second smallest in the world and are adorable. The cool waters of Galapagos make for great scuba diving and snorkeling.

It’s time for a story

With 36 guest on board I will say our group got along very well. We made friends and exchanged email addresses with several people. We did our best to sit with different people at each meal so we could get to know everyone on board. By the end of the week we felt a real friendship with some.

We really enjoyed our time with Barb and Diane from upstate NY. …they were great company and conversationalists. Originally we encountered them on an equatorial tour in Ecuador. Little did we realize our paths would cross again so soon! There was Alan from Colorado, who was more of a mountaineer than an island explorer. Guess he could not say no to these fabulous isles. Additionally, there was David and his wife from Austin who in his spare time was a horn player in a funk rock band. Phil and his wife from Connecticut were great conversationalists. It is always interesting to see the great diversity of people who choose to be on a smaller boat with the same idea in mind....taking in as much beauty as possible. We enjoyed the company of many others but have commented on these as we have communicated with them since we have returned from our trip.

There is always one….. event
A gaggle of boobies.A gaggle of boobies.A gaggle of boobies.

Blue Footed and beautiful.
or incident…. that gives you pause. We were out on the zodiacs having a great time on a coastal exploration and taking some great photos. On our return to the yacht one of the guys walked up and said…. You showed great restraint today on the zodiac. We laughed and said karma would take care of her.

That afternoon on the zodiac a woman who thought her photos were more important than everyone else’s changed her seat on th zodiac once we hoovered near the rock formations to observe the penguins, boobies and iguanas. She took a prime spot without asking and pushed others aside. MJ had a couple of minor verbal altercations with her about her pushing MJ out of her spot on the zodiac and blocking others from their view. She was unbending and suggested I go sit in her seat in the back. MJ took a deep breath, took the high road and stopped communication with her. Some people lack etiquette or class or whatever you want to call it and making an issue on a zodiac in the middle of an ocean won’t teach them anything. MJ shot her her a couple
Red Chested FrigateRed Chested FrigateRed Chested Frigate

Ready for mating!
of surley looks. LOL. The good news is we avoided tossing her overboard !..... or riding in her zodiac in the future and others had to deal with her arrogance and potential rudeness.

The daily routine

Our first outing most days was a coastal exploration via that zodiacs. We absolutely love zodiacs as you are close to the water and the guides can get you close to the wildlife without disturbing them. Safety is important and so each of us are taught proper entry and exit of the floating vehicle and how to balance the weight. We learned not to sit at the far back so we didn’t inhale the fumes, we learned not to sit in the front to decrease spray from the water. The drivers do a great job of slowly turning the zodiacs so everyone can get a close look.

A trip to the Galapagos is all about the water. You are either snorkeling, enoying the zodiac, frolicking at the beach or wishing you were in the water because you are on a hike and it is hot. This is an active trip. Each night the guide give an Eco Moment and at the end they review what we will be doing the next day. They suggest you choose wisely for the activity the following day. Below you will see Brendan's blog entitled, "Choose Very Wisely". We will say that most of the time they made the hike or activity sound more strenuous than it was but you must choose wisely as it is hot on the islands and the ground is not even and usually very rocky.

We were pleased that great care is taken in the Galapagos to ensure the number of people on each island at any given time is restricted. The tour companies have assigned times when they can go ashore to prevent overcrowding and interference with the wildlife.

Afternoon activities….. There were days they took us to frolic on beautiful beaches full of sea lions or other animal life who were not bothered by camera crazed travelers. When were we out in the water chatting several pelicans floated by at close range, possibly taunting us as they know we cannot get near them. We could see them smirking. There were a couple of days we were given the option to kayack. We took this opportunity one day
Amazing SoupsAmazing SoupsAmazing Soups

Isabelle II a good dining experience
and it proved to be frustrating. With Dave being 6’1’’ tall he was squeezed into a sea kayack that really didn’t fit him. Adjustments could have beeen made, but unfortunately the guides had limited time and his seat was not adjusted properly. He was not comfortable the entire ride. We attempted to make adjustments while on the water but we were not successful. Lesson learned for the next kayaking opportunity.In spite of that we enjoyed circling the bay looking for turtles and watching the birds soar above us.

Well, that's enough for today.... we are surprised to tell you that there will be a third Galapagos blog coming to finish up a few things that happened on our cruise and then tell you about our two days on land. We hope you will continue to read along. We'd love to hear from you so please leave a message.

Who we traveled with:

Isabella II Galápagos Yacht booked via Metro Journey’s.
We opted for the Southeastern 7day/6 night trip. SoutheasternTour
Diego Zapata, Destination Expert, phone: 1-855-435-2093 ext. 172.

Please let Diego know we recommended him.

You will want to check out Brendan’s perspective of our
Red footed boobie Red footed boobie Red footed boobie

Truly unique colored webbed feet - Photo credit Brendan.
trip. Go For Galapagos!

Choose Very Wisely …. And watch for his other blogs as they publish. He is a humorous writer.

Additional photos below
Photos: 32, Displayed: 29


The Mating DanceThe Mating Dance
The Mating Dance

Breeding season
Can you see the egg ?Can you see the egg ?
Can you see the egg ?

Nesting season for the Nasca Boobie.
Life on the zodiacsLife on the zodiacs
Life on the zodiacs

Capacity 12 usually 10 or less.

12th April 2023
The magnificent Frigate bird

Magnificent Frigate Bird
Hard to call it anything else other than "Magnificent"...hope its mate also thought so!
12th April 2023
The magnificent Frigate bird

Magnificent Frigate Bird
He had puffed up extraordinarily and his mate seemed to be interested.
12th April 2023
Blue Footed Boobie

Blue Footed Boobie
Love this guy also!
12th April 2023
Blue Footed Boobie

Blue Footed Boobie
They are adorable when they walk, rather waddle. The colors are vibrant!
13th April 2023

love, love, love this
brought back so many memories of my grandson’s and my trip there a few years ago. The animals were incredible and, having grown up on the ocean but now living on the Mississippi, I loved every minute of being on the sea
13th April 2023

love, love, love this
I'm glad we could bring back some pleasant memories for you. We love being on the water... it is my zen.
14th April 2023

What an awesome opportunity
Ok, Many of your trips have been awesome to experience thru your blog, but this one really caught my fancy: except the kayak " adventure" , seems every time I have been in a kayak I have found them to be uncomfortable. Just bad for a bad back. Everything else was fascinating and I really enjoyed my " experience ". :)
14th April 2023

Awesome opportunity
Dave here....yes, it was grand! One more to come from the Galápagos and it should have more pics. The kayak thing was a bummer, but I'm willing to try it again. Cheers!
15th April 2023

Pushy Photographers
One of our bucket list destinations. Friends went there just before Christmas and absolutely loved it. MJ did indeed show great restraint, please congratulate her - I'm not sure I would have given pushy photographer the same courtesy..... I'm a very keen photographer, but one of my pet hates is the pushy photographer who thinks it is only them trying to get good shots.
15th April 2023

Pushy Photographers
I decided the zodiac was not the place for the things I wanted to say. Tossing her overboard was considered for several minutes. LOL. Courtesy is the key. Thanks for commenting.
16th April 2023

Galapagos Cruising
Wonderful blog, beautiful photos. The sea-based tour sounds like it was a great choice for you, and I imagine all three of you enjoyed the food! So great that you got to see the frigate birds with their inflated chests! Well done also on the restraint shown to the rude woman, and for taking the moral high ground. There's always one who thinks their photos are more important than anyone else's. No doubt she made few friends on that trip. Great that there were so many nice people you were able to chat to and keep in touch with 😊
16th April 2023

Galapagos Cruising
As you know because you've been there the photos don't compare to reality. It was a lovely trip and are glad we went on the Isabella II. It was odd that people really seemed to enjoy the company of the rude woman. Maybe they had not been in a zodiac with her. Oh well. I'm over it. She's not worth my energy. There were amazing friendly people on the trip. Travelers are usually kind and friendly!
17th April 2023

Those colors!
Creature colors looked amazing! What do you know about the name Frigate? D’s Navy days included cruising with Frigates (he was on a Destroyer) and I’m curious if there’s a word relationship.
18th April 2023

Those colors!
I don't know how the Frigate birds got their names. I'll have to do some research. They are beautiful.
20th April 2023

The blue footed boobies are just so cute! And all the birds, the little penguins, the other animals, how amazing to see! The trip just sounds so fabulous. Great restraint in not shoving the pushy seat stealer off the zodiac! Thanks for taking us along, your blog is great insight into visiting the Galapagos.
20th April 2023

Those blue footed ones are adorable! We did a lot of research on which islands we wanted to see and which boat we wanted to travel on. There are many to pick from. I did show restraint! Thanks for commenting.
24th April 2023

A place like no other!
Great detail and photos. I especially love your photos of the frigates! How cool! To seem them ballooned up! I liked your take on the towns a strange event after the remoteness of nature. I was there 20 years ago so it was probably less developed. The photo taking has gotten out of control. If someone needs photos so badly they should take a private tour. Life isn't about taking the photo for later, stop and experience!
26th April 2023

A place like no other!
The Galapagos was a wonderful trip. Any time you can see nature in action it is breathtaking. We love safari and our trip to Antarctica was amazing. I agree she needed a private tour but she'd rather take things into her own hands.
27th April 2023
I love the Blue Footed Boobies

So do I
I also love the Blue Footed Boobies. Those feet are adorable. /Ake
28th April 2023
I love the Blue Footed Boobies

So do I
Those blue footed boobies are adorable. Thanks for reading along and commenting. We enjoy hearing from you.

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