Seymour North was mostly populated with Frigatebirds. Many of the Frigatebird males had their “red gulars” puffed out to attract females. It was very unique to see these big red balloons under many of the males. It must have worked for at least one of the males because we were able to see one male and one female mating. We were also told that competing male Frigatebirds will sometimes pop another male’s gular sack to minimize the competition. Frigatebirds are very mean! Supposedly the gular sacks do repair themselves over time. There were many baby Frigatebirds around and along with juvenile birds. The Nazca Boobies and Frigatebirds seemed to coexist nicely but we were told that the Frigatebirds are not nice and often steal the fish from the boobies. The island landscape was very pretty with a red Carpetweed that was seen in many areas providing some good color to the island. Once again iguanas were easy to find along with sea lions. We got one good picture of an egret with a baby sea lion.
In late morning there was a snorkeling session where several manta rays were spotted. The Silversea's photographer said that this was the best pictures he ever got of the manta rays and diamond string rays swimming in the water. A few sharks were also spotted during this session along with your normal reef fish.
In the afternoon on our zodiac ride to Bahia Sullivan, we spotted our first Galapagos penguin. It was by itself but seemed to be having a good time. The hike on this island was on a lava field where we learned a lot about the creation of the Galapagos Islands. The flow we walked on was from 1897 (just a little over 100 hundred years old). The different lava flow marks on the surface was really interesting to see and we were amazed to see so many different patterns to the flow. We were also shown some of the lava tubes as we walked. It seemed as if most of the lava tubes had collapsed over time. Plant life was just starting to grow in the lava which is pretty amazing considering there really isn’t any soil and not much fresh water. There were also a couple of cactuses that were found. The only animal life we saw in the lave field were a few lava lizards, some marine iguanas by the coastline and many Sally Light-footed crabs walks around the rocks in the water.
It was just another enjoyable day in the Galapagos Islands. The weather was great – no rain, a little windy, and not hot.
Greg and Sharon