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Santiago Island

In the center of the Galapagos lies Santiago Island, a large island in which flora and fauna abound. Early in the morning, before breakfast, we set off for our first outing of the day. Read More>

May 20, 2015 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Pavlof Harbor, Chatham Strait and Red Bluff Bay

Just before 6 a.m. National Geographic Sea Bird left Chatham Strait, and entered Freshwater Bay, a large waterway penetrating several miles into Chichagof Island from the eastern side. Our destination this morning was a much smaller, and protected, anchorage called Pavlof Harbor, where the variety of our morning’s activities would take place. It was another spectacular morning, even though there were some low clouds, but with the very real chance for a clearer afternoon! So right after breakfast the shuttles started loading and heading to shore with hikers, followed by kayakers. Soon after the shore side activities started there were Zodiac cruises available for the remaining guests who maybe wanted a little more leisurely morning. That was the first round, with everybody having the option of doing one of the other activities, or more of the same. Read More>

May 20, 2015 National Geographic Sea Bird in Alaska

At sea towards Borneo

A day at sea always offers the opportunity to reflect on the past days and the many different landscapes ad cultures we have been experiencing over the last weeks. The contrasts between the different countries we visited and were able to experience to a certain degree are probably one of the first things that come to mind. Today, as we navigated the waters of the Karimata Strait (which separates Sumatra from Borneo), many of us delved into the impressions created during the previous weeks. A day at sea is always different than any other day at sea. Read More>

May 20, 2015 National Geographic Orion in Borneo & Indonesia

Singapore, the Lion City

A glittering metropolis at the southeastern tip of Asia. Perfectly sited to be a great hub of world trade, in many ways Singapore is THE great hub of the opening decades of the 21st century. Read More>

May 19, 2015 National Geographic Orion in Borneo & Indonesia

Isabela Island

Today was our second full day in the western most part of this archipelago, and we decided to start our day a bit earlier than normal, because the weather has been very hot these last few days. The idea was to be out as soon as the Galapagos National park rules allow us, and since Urbina Bay has a lot of nature and geological interest, we offered two options to our explorers. Read More>

May 19, 2015 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Scotland

On our last full day of this British and Irish Isles expedition we were treated to a sample of the windswept and rainy conditions that locals endure on a regular basis. We emerged from the ship at 7:45 in the morning and rushed to the awaiting buses. National Geographic Explorer was docked a stone's throw from downtown Lerwick, the picturesque city that was founded in the 17th century, relatively recently for this island whose record of human habitation stretches back thousands of years. We peered through rain-covered windows at the grey stone houses that make up the city center, winding our way through the city streets on our way to the Shetland countryside. As we left the city, we saw the ruins of the ancient Clickimin Broch, a stone structure that served either as an ancient dwelling, a defensive structure, a status symbol, or perhaps all three. The Shetland landscape is dotted with landmarks of ancient history. Read More>

May 19, 2015 National Geographic Explorer in British & Irish Isles

George Island & Inian Islands

Wow, what a terrific day!  Incredible from start to finish.  By the time we were up and about the sun was coming down through clouds, the wind was blustery and waves sparkled around the ship.  We came to anchor beside George Island, a lovely forested set of hills at the mouth of Cross Sound and exposed to the open ocean.  Walkers hit the trail to dive into the history of the island.  The trail wound through the ruined leftovers of a WWII outpost and after wandering up and down the island we arrived at an old gun emplacement.  Along the way we discovered a couple of banana slugs, remains of a few birds (presumably eaten by peregrine falcons), bear poop, intertidal creatures, and some sweet photo ops.  Zodiac cruisers circled the island, investigating the rocky walls for intertidal creatures, looking out at the kelp beds, watching sea otter moms and pups bobbing on the swells, and a spectacular show of a sea lion devouring an octopus.  A good time was had by all. Following lunch we returned to the Zodiacs to zip around the Inian islands, one of the major highlights of our trip. Read More>

May 19, 2015 National Geographic Sea Lion in Alaska

Glacier Bay

Glacier Bay is an iconic destination, a keystone of Alaska’s natural history. Pristine, wild, and unspoiled are just a few words used to describe this giant basin. Carved thousands of years ago by ice thousands of feet thick, glaciers moved like slow motion juggernauts, pulverizing everything in their path, leaving the Earth’s crust deeply cleaved. As recently as 1750, the entire bay was filled with glacial ice. Since that time, the ice has receded and the ocean has filled the fjords, creating a bay that appears designed by nature to explore by small ship. Guests aboard National Geographic Sea Bird enjoyed a quiet night as the ship was tied up at the National Park Service docks in Bartlett Cove. Read More>

May 19, 2015 National Geographic Sea Bird in Alaska

Fernandina and Isabela Islands

Today, we landed on the youngest of the Galápagos Islands—Fernandina. We had a dry landing, and we were welcomed by several marine iguanas basking under the equatorial sun. These are some of the largest marine iguanas found in the Galápagos. After eating the green algae from the bottom of the ocean, they have to heat up their bodies in order to digest, so they are often found across the lava flows.  Further into our trail, we spotted four endemic Fernandina racer snakes. It was the hatchling season for the baby marine iguanas, so snakes, great blue herons, and other predators were waiting to prey upon the hatchlings as they came out of their nests under the sand.   Small colonies of Galápagos flightless cormorants were also spotted along the coastline, as many Sally light foot crabs, and lava herons were feeding on some of the remnant organisms left behind by the low tide. Read More>

May 18, 2015 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Peril and Chatham Strait to Pavlov Harbor

The National Geographic Sea Lion continued her northwest journey through Peril Strait throughout the morning.  This narrow passage separates Baranof Island and Chichagof Island and our passage is very tidal dependent.  The officers on the bridge waited through most of the previous evening for high slack water, which arrived at approximately 6:00am.  The bow had a nice group of early risers watching as the Sea Lion made her way through a marine layer of low clouds and moisture, a common occurrence during the long high of open weather we were experiencing.  Later in the morning we reached Chatham Strait and began a passage heading north towards our afternoon anchorage of Pavlof Harbor, located along the northeast peninsula of Chichagof Island. The recent new moon brought a large amount of water and tidal currents over the bottom topography of this deep channel, concentrating nutrients and prey animals and providing a rich feeding area for fish, seabirds, and whales. Read More>

May 18, 2015 National Geographic Sea Lion in Alaska

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Daily Expedition Report Information

Please note: All Daily Expedition Reports (DER's) are posted Monday-Friday, during normal business hours.