From the National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos, June 6, 2010
Loyal to their couples, the waved albatrosses sat on their nests waiting for their mates to come back and release them from their parent duties. Other albatross couples were busy doing the courtship dance that will strengthen their bond for the next season, and some flew above us so we could see their magnificent wing span that can reach 8 feet.
Española, being the southernmost island of the Galápagos, receives these magnificent birds every year and as they arrive the island becomes very lively and noisy with all the different sounds that different birds make to attract their mates. Boobies whistle and honk. Nazca boobies make more nasal sounds to welcome their partners. Española mocking birds were very loud as the chicks followed their parents to get fed; young sea lions playing at the beach and dominant males barking made us realize that the adventure of our lives is just starting.
Other creatures that were not as noisy but very representative of the island were the lava lizards and the red iguanas that basked on the rock along the trail, hiding sometimes from the Galápagos hawks that were in the search for breakfast.
In the afternoon the experience was so different from the morning that it was startling to think that we were on the same island. Some of us went for the glass bottom boat, the most daring went deep water snorkeling and the beginners went to the beach to practice their snorkeling techniques so tomorrow we could all go for another great water adventure.
The sea lions that were on the beach made our excursion very delightful as we strolled along the shore. There were nursing mothers, young pups playing in the water with us, big bulls taking a nap and older pups learning to fight with each other.
After a long day we all wonder what tomorrow will bring for us here in paradise.
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