Day 8: North Seymour Island – Baltra Airport
We had an early start on the final day of our Galapagos adventure, disembarking from the boats at 6:30am for a short hike around North Seymour. It is a tiny island located near Baltra island, where the main airport is. The island was formed almost a million years ago by an uplift of submarine lava and you can see still some of the remnants of marine fossils dotted around the island.
The island is home to one of the largest populations of bird life in the archipelago, despite being less than a square mile in size. As we got off the zodiacs, you could see a tremendous amount of bird life circling the shoreline. We were lucky enough to see a few male frigate birds doing their mating ritual as it was quite late in the year and most had already mated. It was so fascinating to watch them completely inflate their bright red balloon-like sac in their throat to attract the females. We actually paused to see one performing the ritual and then circled back at the end of our walk to find him sat with his wing around a female! The gesture seemed so humanlike, it was very interesting to see. There are two types of Frigate bird in the Galapagos; The Magnificent Frigatebird and the Common Frigatebird – the Common one has slightly greenish feathers on its back. As we continued our loop around the island we also caught a glimpse of a mother feeding a juvenile frigate, and watched its whole head disappear as the mother regurgitated the food.
Aside from frigate birds, the island is home to several a Blue-footed boobies and we caught one performing his own mating dance on top of a rock. The coastline was also dotted with the last sea lions we would see.
We headed back to the boat for breakfast while the captain sailed the short distance to Baltra Island. We left the boat at 8:30 and were shuttled to the airport via bus. When we had booked the tour we were informed we’d be dropped off at around midday so had subsequently booked a flight at 3pm to play it safe. Neither of us were particularly impressed by the prospect of 6 hours in the airport. However, it did make us even more thankful that we didn’t opt for a 5 day cruise as effectively two days are lost in transit!
Join us next time as we head to Colombia!
Sophie & Dave