[Prince Philip's Steps]
Genovesa was the bird island. The steps led up a cliff wall; at the top was a bunch of leafless trees (dry season) where red-footed boobies nested. Red-footed boobies can, despite their webbed feet, grasp tree branches. The branches give them cover against other birds (frigates and hawks iirc).
red feet, blue beaks
I definitely got my practice in photographing birds in flight this day.
We spent a lot of time looking for owls, and finally spotted one, far in the distance. I managed to get a number of shots at the far end of my 100-400mm, which was the highlight of the morning.
The snorkeling was decent. Our group managed to find Helen's sunglasses that she dropped in the water on the way down from Prince Philip's steps. I think my underwater point-and-shoot skills were the best of the trip, though. Part of it was getting rid of the orange filter; the rest was knowing the settings that worked for me and knowing to get close.
Practice makes perfect, I think.
Afterwards we had our departure briefing, which was sad. I left a tip for the crew+naturalists and donated to the Galápagos Lindblad fund.
There was a bit of a tradition -- the passengers against the crew, in a kayak race around a zodiac and back. Cindy insisted the night before that the crew never win, but despite our best efforts, the crew came away with first prize. However, there were prizes for the first crew team and the first passenger team, and lots of amusement all around.
[Darwin Bay beach trail]
Finally, we had a wet landing on the beach, the one wet landing where you needed shoes at all, really. I wasn't looking forward to it since I had rubbed my feet raw in my flip-flops the very first day at Cerro Brujo, but I changed into my hiking boots on the beach and all was good.
Birds were nesting all around and flying overhead; more bird-on-the-wing photography! I spent a decent amount of time trying to catch the sunlight behind the white feathers of the swallow-tailed gull.
After hiking over the lava rocks to see the view, we saw gulls mating.