Frigate Birds - awesome!

Trip Start Jan 16, 2011
Trip End Jan 15, 2012

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Cruz del Sur - Boat

Flag of Ecuador  , Galápagos,
Saturday, May 14, 2011

Day 117 - Day 6 of Galapagos Cruise:

Another sleep in, breakfast at 7am. Then the boat had to refill oil and we got stuck on the boat till 8:30am before we left to North Seymor. A beautiful little island with its main attractions the Frigatebird. We saw quite a lot male frigatebird with their red pouch. It takes them 30 minutes to inflate it to attract females. Once a female got attracted the pouch will deflate within 6 hours. They lay one egg every two years. By the time the male frigatebird is ready to mate he already built a nest. If the female likes the nest, she will probably mate, otherwise she is gonna look for another one. The females have a white chest, the males the rest chest. We had the chance to get close to some as they built their nest in the bushes close to the trail. We also saw the Swallow-tailed gull said to be the most beautiful gull in the world and the only nocturnal one. The red ring around its eyes becomes florescent in the water at night and attracts squids. It feeds squids. When the went back to the boat and started our navigation towards Bartolome. Got on the beach and snorkelled with some penguins. Also saw the tiger spotted snake eel, pacific boxfish, spotted pufferfish, parrot fish and hogfish. Nice time in the water. Back on the boat for a quick shower, then we walked up on Bartolome, 400 wodden stairs to the top to have a great view over the surrounding islands. All islands of Galapagos are volcanic, on Fernanda and Isabela there are still active once. Last time they erupted was 2009 on Fernanda and 2005 on Isabela. Galapagos islands are located on the Nasca Plate which is moving and thus the Galapagos islands move 7cm south east towards mainland Ecuador every year. The youngest island on Galapagos is 400,000 years old (Fernanda) while the oldest San Cristobal is 5 million years old. The closer the islands move to the mainland the lower they become. So Fernanda and Isabela with their active volcanoes are about 1,200 meters above sea level and they are the most west, the furtherst from the mainland. Espanola is closest to the mainlain and just 200 metres, erosion reduces the height over the centuries. In face the oldest islands of Galapagos is already under water. We headed back to the boat for dinner and immediately started our navigation towards Plaza Sur.
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