Special to AllThingsCruise.com
It’s our last full day on the MV Evolution, and the hour-to-hour activities arranged by International Expeditions don’t stop. During the night our captain has once again crossed the equator as we sleep, bringing us to tiny North Seymour Island, an “uplifted” island, simply pushed up from the ocean`s floor due to lava eruptions.
This is a good island for hiking to see one of the largest Magnificent frigate bird colonies, the Magnificents being known for the purple band of feathers they have. Yes, their true name is Magnificent, and that they are.
Also, the swallowtail gulls here will allow you to get so close to them that you can snap your own reflection, with your camera, in the eye of the gull.
Lots of land iguanas lie in the sun looking like the prehistoric creatures they are.
Our final lunch on board is called a special one, and it produces an even more lavish display than those of the previous six days, highlighted as it is by a perfectly roasted whole suckling pig accompanied by side dishes from the various home provinces of the crew, including a rich fish soup and a corn and cheese dish with a not-too-hot sauce enhancing it, and, as ever, special dishes for those vegetarians among us.
We take a silent afternoon panga ride into Black Turtle Cove where, among the mango trees, we discover, in addition to the turtles, black-tipped sharks, golden rays, and pelicans diving and fighting for fish a few feet from our cameras.
The sense of humor shown by both of our guides was put into play with a surprise visit of pirates and buccaneers on one night, and on the final night there was an original Galapagos quiz and charades session with all 26 guests divided into teams.
The highlight of this activity was watching Carol Decker, the Massachusetts Audubon trip leader, trying to pantomime the expression “klepto-parasitology,” which describes the way the frigate bird gets her meals: by stealing the fish of other birds in flight around her. Needless to say, her team couldn’t decipher her attempts to be a frigate bird. To my surprise, my team (“Team Booby”) won the competition!
April 8, 2011
Photos by Timothy Leland