Debbie and her booby--photo by Geronimo
4. Geronimo and the Birds
Between dives at the Boiler I met up with one of the panga drivers and long-time Solmar V crew member who’d been on the boat four years prior (and some time before that, I gather). A naturalist at heart, Geronimo has observed and identified the marine birds of the islands and the Sea of Cortez for many years. I remembered asking him about the species of boobies on our previous trip, and chatted with him on many occasions this time as I struggled to read the natural history books in Spanish. We had a very interesting conversation about the migratory habits of sooty terns and brown nobbies which I’d like to follow up on. A very unassuming man, Geronimo impressed me with his knowledge and sensitivity to the wildlife.
On this day, Geronimo showed me how to pick up a juvenile brown booby from his perch on the bow of the boat. After gently nudging his webbed feet, the bird willingly climbed onto my fist and clung there precariously, seemingly undisturbed. Geronimo took some great pictures with his digital camera and was kind enough to burn me a cd of the them (along with many other of his photos) before I left the boat.