We embarked on our 2 week exploration of most of the islands aboard a small boat, along with 12 other intrepid souls. Our first stop was this blindingly white strip of sand -


where we literally had to tiptoe around the occupants.


While walking along the beach, we came upon this marine iguana on a whale skeleton, as if he was posing for us:


And this was just the first afternoon after boarding the boat! Our group of 14 quickly bonded over 6 am excursions and ocean snorkeling trips.

Speaking of early morning hikes, the next day found us nose to beak with a noisy colony of Great Frigate birds.


When a male is trying to attract a mate, he extends his neck pouch and wings and calls to her. These 2 pairs are seemingly happy, but a guy can’t be too sure, can he?

We also saw both morphotypes of red-footed boobies - white:


and brown -


The red-footed boobies nest in mangrove trees, while the Nazca boobies make nests of twigs and pebbles on the ground:


Later that same day, we made another landing and hiked up onto a plateau where we were treated to a Short eared owl snoozing after a successful hunt. I was so glad I had brought my long lens to get these great close-ups, but sometimes the animals were so close, I had to switch back to my short one!


In my next post, I’ll include a video of this guy:


Steve and I felt like we’d died and gone to heaven to be just snorkeling and see several Scalloped Hammerhead sharks mere inches below us! Again, this was all on our first full day!! Awesome.