From Bartolome Island, Eden sailed seven hours northeast, crossing the equator, to Darwin Harbor on Genovesa Island (aka Tower Island or Douwes Island) (We arrived at 11 pm on Day 6, Friday). Darwin Harbor was formed by a sunken volcanic crater. We took two pangas along the vertical volcanic cliff walls. Here we saw a number of fur seals who like to rest on the volcanic ledges and cliff nooks. Numerous birds nest in the cliff walls. We landed at Prince Philip's Steps and did a short climb to the top where we caught our first sight of a red footed booby. As we made our way along the marked trail to cliffs overlooking the South Pacific ocean, we pasted innumerous Great Frigatebirds (males have a distinctive inflatable scarlet pouch), red footed boobies, Nazca boobies, and other birds.
After our walk, we returned to Eden and prepared to go snorkeling. Our pangas dropped us along the western edge of Darwin Harbor and followed us while we snorkeled along the cliffs. The water was cold--colder than Hawaiian waters--but bearable even without a wetsuit. The highlights were a large sea lion buzzing past me and snorkeling above a huge manta ray, the same type that killed the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, according to Morris.
After lunch aboard Eden, we did a wet landing on a small beach at the north end of Darwin Harbor. Sea lions lazed on the beach, completely indifferent to our presence. Morris gave us a quick tour of nesting birds including red footed boobies and Great Frigatebirds. As the wildlife was starting to get repetitive, I found some shade for some time alone to read.
Our last evening aboard Eden, we were all a little sad to be at the end of our cruise. During dinner, Jeff and I broke out a bottle of Chilean red wine and toasted the fabulous time we had in the Galapagos Islands. Later in the evening, we sailed to our final destination Black Turtle Cove on Santa Cruz Island.