June 22, 2001 - Friday - Espanola Island (Hood)

Hood Island (Espanola) - west coast Punta Suarez - colonies of masked and blue-footed boobies; beach colony of (colorful) marine iguana and large lava lizards; endemic Albatross colony; Gardner Bay - blowholes and white sand beach.

Click for enlarged photo This morning, we arrived at Espanola (Hood) Island for an early morning long walk of about 2 kilometers. Lots and lots of blue-footed boobies everywhere. And marine iguanas baking on the rocks. On our way out, we saw several iguanas in the water. The beach again was covered with sea lions.

Click for enlarged photo The albatross were also found here - bright yellow beaks with white and gray features. They were dueling with their beaks with their mates (yet another mating ritual). Also, lots of abandoned albatross eggs left on the beaches. It's an awkward bird on land, requiring a long, clear take-off area to fly, or finally just dropping off the edge of a cliff to start soaring. But once airborne, it is Quito a beautiful bird in flight.

This afternoon we're anchored off Bahia Gardner, near a couple of small islets. Inaccessible except to scientists from the Darwin Research Center. There are two plastic kayaks that have been taken by the Collins around Bahia Garner.

Later in the afternoon, there was more beach snorkeling. I had a bit of a burn on my legs from earlier snorkeling, but I snorkeled anyway. There was a white shark, a manta ray and schools of yellowtail fish.

Afterwards, Fereydoon went on the white beach and romped with the baby sea lions.