We went to Española island in the morning, also known as Hood Island. This volcanic island was formed from one volcano. We had a dry landing and walked the island to see Marine Iguanas, just one pair of nesting blue footed boobies, but many other blue footed boobies moving about, lava lizards, mocking birds and some juvenile Nazca boobies.
Above was just the first few minutes getting off the panga
This was our first time seeing the endemic Albatross. They mate on this island. The males arrive first, then the females. Each time a female flies over the males get up and make noise. They pair for life and come back to the same nesting site, although the birds will change mates if one does not come back. It takes approximately 45 days for an egg to hatch; then they care and feed hatch-ling for about 5 months. The Albatross leave the island separately after about 5 months. The offspring will come back to the same island but not for 5 years when they are ready to mate. We saw the territorial fights of young males coming back into nesting areas trying to hold an area and attract a female.
We walked to the cliff area and watched the blow hole.
Near the end of the 2.5 hour walk we saw 2 Galapagos Hawks. Many males will mate with one female and then all of them will feed the hatch-ling. The most common food for hawks are Marine Iguanas.
We went back to boat had lunch and they moved the boat to a deep water snorkel at Gardner Island, which is just off shore of Española Island.
Much clearer water than yesterday. Small area with lots of rocks on the bottom with a very steep drop off. Some also saw more Galapagos sharks. We also saw rays, many types of tropical fish and schools of brightly colored fish.
Briefly back on the boat, then off to Gardner Bay to a very long, fine white sand beach. Shallow snorkeling, swimming, walking along the beach. Aqua marine water, sort of shallow and quite warm today.
Great day and a beautiful evening!