Our day started snorkeling along the island of North Seymour. We saw schools of fish, turtles and Penguins as they torpedoed past us in search of food. We had fun swimming and watching the underwater world.
After swimming and lunch back on the boat, we set out for our hike through the nesting area of blue footed boobies and magnificent frigate birds. The beach was both sandy and rocky with very dry vegetation. As we walked through the marked path and through the breeding ground, we saw all sorts of species.
There were land iguanas munching on the grass and lava iguanas running past our feet. As we kept walking, we saw blue footed boobies sitting on the ground in the nest they made on their eggs. Their nest or territory was marked by a ring of white bird poop…it was about 5 inches or so thick in a perfect circle. We were so close to them and their babies…but they didn’t seem to mind.
One of the highlights of the islands was watching the magnificent frigate birds in heat. The males have red on their chest and in order to entice the females, they expand their pouches with air…it looks like they are going to pop. Nature is so amazing…
Speaking of amazing…we also got to see two blue-footed boobies court each other as partners. The female walked over to the male with a gift of twigs in her mouth. She waddled over to him and presented the sticks which would probably be for their nest. They were loudly talking to each other as they went through the motions…we thought we were going to see them mate but after waiting for some time, needed to keep walking. See our video on this adorable new couple.
After getting to see the frigate birds with their red airy pouches, land iguanas lazily eating, and blue footed boobies fall in love, we were back on the boat.
We drank some tea, played cards and had our nightly gross dinner before getting to bed.
Published by Giff Kabat
I grew up in Ohio as a kid, so of course I went to college at “THE” Ohio State University. I graduated in 2001 with a major in business finance. A month after graduation, I moved out to California with my college girlfriend (whom I married in 2005)…and started my career in sales (industrial sales for 5 years…then moved into medical laser sales for 4 years).
In 2009 I was 31 years old. I had a great job, a new house, and a beautiful wife. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better…my wife and I found out we were going to have a baby. Everything was going according to plan…and I couldn’t have scripted a better life for myself.
Then in the same year…everything changed. My wife, Brandey, called me when I was on my way to work and told me over the phone, something I never thought could be possible in a million years. My beautiful 30-year old pregnant wife was just told that she had breast cancer. At that moment, everything stopped all at once. I immediately went to her…and learned of our new plan…which began with her needing surgery immediately…and the rest we would find out later.
The day we returned from the hospital after Brandey’s surgery…my father died. He had been battling an aggressive cancer of his own…and although he was the one person I wanted to speak with about Brandey having cancer…I never told him. My sister, Brooke, had just gotten married a few months ago, and although he was weak, he was able to walk his little girl down the aisle of her wedding. On the night before my sister’s wedding, Brandey and I told him that we were pregnant and about to make him a grandfather. It made no sense to tell him that everything had changed for us…so he died in peace knowing everything was “the way it should be” for his only 2 children.
2010 was the worst year of my life. We had lost our baby…and for 12 months I watched my wife fight cancer with multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and drug therapy. It was a difficult year for us…but we made it. When you go through something like this in life, you learn a lot about yourself and the people around you. I was amazed at the strength and courage of my wife…and how many good people there are in this world. I will be forever grateful for the ones who never ceased to amaze me with their kindness during this hard time. Family, friends, and sometimes complete strangers…helped us make it through this. I am, and will always be especially grateful to my mother, who was with my dad at the very end, when I couldn’t be there, and when things were at their worst. She has been so supportive throughout all of this, and without her everything would have been so much harder for me.
It’s 2011 now…and the plan we have for our life this year…is to make it the best year of our lives. Brandey is officially in remission from breast cancer and she has a 95% chance the cancer will never come back. Besides the love that I have for my wife and family, the loves of my life are food, wine, and adventure travel. My wife and I love traveling to new places, seeing natural wonders, and meeting new people from different parts of the world. So for the next 400 days…we’ve decided to travel the world…and celebrate our lives. There are so many things I took for granted in life that I will never take for granted again. My father worked for over 30 years at the same job with the same company…rarely took time off…and died at 64 years old right after his retirement. For me, this trip is a combination of a tribute to him, along with wanting to spend the time of my life with the “love of my life.”
* The only thing I will miss while we are gone is our family and friends (who we hope will meet us somewhere throughout our trip) and especially our 3 little kitties we left with my mom in Ohio to catsit for the next 400 days. I will also miss watching “American Football” over the weekend…but I’ll do my best to check the scores in the middle of the night.
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