Sunday 19 May 2013

It's May - Paradise for Waved Albatross

This is a most exciting time of year for Punta Suarez on Espanola Island.  Though there is never a bad time to visit this island, in springtime, visitors get to see all of the Waved Albatross in the world settle here, engage in their ritual dance, mate, and care for their babies.  I've written about Punta Suarez before.  See that post, here.  And, I'm sure you'll hear more about it again, because it differs from season to season.  Sometimes the blue footed boobies' nursery is the centerpiece.  Now though, in springtime, it's the amazing, wondrous Waved Albatross.

Albatross Esganola Island Galapagos Suarez Point
Here's one now - greeting us head on - completely unafraid - posing for the camera.

Waved Albatross Mating Area on Espanola Island Punta Suarez Galapagos
Mating Area
Mariners have long associated albatross with good luck because when a sailor sees an albatross, land is near.  If you visit Punta Suarez on Espanola Island from the beginning of spring through November, and see these dramatic and unique birds, you’ll believe that they bring good luck too.  Your landing by panga on Espanola will barely hint at the wonder you are about to experience.  The initial path is rocky and dry, typical of the volcanic formation of the Galapagos Islands.  Soon though it opens up to a gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean, pounding seas, dramatic blow holes, and, most special of all, the world’s only Waved Albatross mating area.
Monday 6 May 2013

Santa Cruz Island - Black Turtle Cove

Santa Cruz Island, Black Turtle Cove Panorama
Santa Cruz Island, Black Turtle Cove Panorama from Wiki
Located on the northern shores of Santa Cruz Island, Black Turtle Cove is a very special place; the atmosphere is quiet, contemplative and visual. Galapagos National Park rules require that upon your arrival at Black Turtle Cove via panga, the motor be turned off.  Silence and stillness permeate.  That is until you start to hear the sounds of nature all around you. Listen to the birds, hear the water and waves, listen for the sounds of fish jumping in the still waters, look around and smell the greenness of the mangrove trees that surround this beautiful area. In the panga you will navigate into the cove and then through the mangrove forest, sometimes paddling so as not to disturb the wildlife. The approach to the wildlife in silence assures that the nesting green sea turtles, sharks, herons and rays are allowed to remain peaceful and undisturbed in their natural habitat.

Approach to Black Turtle Cove
Approach to Black Turtle Cove
The mangroves themselves are beautiful, dense and diverse. Some are old; some new. They are not all alike; in fact, there are three mangrove species at Black Turtle Cove. Their root systems merge directly into the shallow blue saltwater of this cove. Their colors vary and the leaves sparkle where they are hit by the tropical sun.