After an early lunch and a short navigation around the island, we anchored off Punta Suarez.
This is a pretty special place because it’s the only place in the world where the Waved Albatross nests and breeds. It is believed that there are 12,000 breeding pairs in the Galapagos, nesting on Espanola. There is a small island off the coast of Ecuador where it is believed there may be tiny population but numbers fewer than 20 breeding pairs.
The waved albatross is the largest bird in the Galapagos with a wingspan measuring up to 8 feet!
One of the interesting behaviors is their mating dance which includes 8 steps, one of which is bill clacking, see above …. and it really makes a loud “clacking” when they open their bill and then snap it shut! Other steps are head nodding and bill “fencing”, sort of like using the bill as a sword.
The other really interesting thing about the waved albatross is the fact that they spend so much time out at sea, especially the newly fledged young. At about five and a half months, when they are able to finally fly, they will fly the coup, so to speak, and not return for as many as 6 years, when they will come back to find a mate!
The other neat thing about this landing was the spectacular coastline with cliffs down to the sea, strong winds and incredible waves. We were able to hike out to the point twice, once on a beautiful afternoon and again the next morning when it was overcast and drizzly. Two completely different feels!
Of course, there were lots of other things to see while we were out there.
Marine iguanas a plenty here too. More color than the others we’ve seen as well. This is just a fun shot of his back and front leg … he was sleeping!
After our morning excursion, we navigated to the island San Cristobal where the capital of the Galapagos is. The city of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. We will spend tonight and the next day exploring San Cristobal.