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Floreana Island

Today we visit one of the most beautiful and interesting islands in the Galapagos as we locally call it “Floreana”, named after the first president of Ecuador Juan Jose Flores. This incredible place has an incredible amount of wildlife and human history, since it has been visited over hundreds of years by humans, from pirates to the first settlers. With the first light of the day we prepare for our first outing before breakfast, this is a visit to Punta Cormorant, which is a visitor site boasting one of the few populations of flamingos and recently a small nesting colony of blue-footed boobies. Read More>

Sep 26, 2016 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Clarkston and Hells Canyon

Clouds in the east turned gold and orange just before sunrise and the bright colors of the sky were reflected in the small ripples on the surface of the Snake River. Soon after breakfast we boarded jet-boats piloted by Captain Chuck and Captain Bob and away we went upstream on the Snake River. On this gorgeous and sunny morning we were bound for wild and scenic Hells Canyon, the deepest river gorge in America. Near the river’s edge flocks of Canada geese, mallards, and American coots rested on the water. Great blue herons stood silent like sentinels on the river banks, waiting for hapless fish to swim by. An osprey perched in a tree along the river. Our first stop was to view an amazing outcrop of columnar basalt with perfect hexagonal columns, some curved in curious ways that defy explanation. As we headed on upstream, great walls of layered lava flows loomed above us. These lavas are a part of the Columbia River Basalt Province through which we will be sailing for most of our journey. Stepping up to the horizon high above, the lavas are weathered to a rich brown and trimmed with the buff-colored grasses of autumn. Two mule deer does were seen in the willows along the shore. At the confluence with the Grande Ronde River we officially enter Hells Canyon and leave the basalts behind for now. Read More>

Sep 26, 2016 National Geographic Sea Bird in Pacific Northwest

Gardner Bay and Punta Suarez

Today we started our day on a beautiful white sandy beach called Gardner Beach, where California sea lions were lying about along with Hood mockingbirds, which were mainly interested in the flies that the sea lions attracted. The sky was a bit cloudy but the water was clear, and we proceeded to snorkel from the beach with the beginners, while the advanced went to Gardner Island for deep water snorkeling. In the late morning, several guests went kayaking along the northern shoreline and afterwards we had lunch as we sailed west on the National Geographic Endeavour towards Punta Suarez. Read More>

Sep 25, 2016 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Hells Canyon and Nez Perce National Historic Park

The last full day of our journey up the Columbia and Snake rivers was sunny and warm. We disembarked the National Geographic Sea Lion early this morning and stepped onto our jet boats. We spent much of the day on these speedy craft, going more than 50 miles up the Snake River into Hells Canyon. At 8,000 feet from top to bottom, Hells Canyon is the deepest river canyon in North America. Yes, even deeper than the Grand Canyon. The jet boat ride gave us a wonderful opportunity to see the canyon from within. Read More>

Sep 25, 2016 National Geographic Sea Lion in Pacific Northwest

Iricahua and Yarapa River

Our last day exploring the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve began with an overcast sunrise. The temperature was fresh enough to motivate us to have our breakfast fast and hurry to load the skiffs. Iricahua is another part of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Read More>

Sep 24, 2016 Delfin II in Amazon

San Cristobal Island

 Our time on the Islands will come to an end this evening and in order to make the finale special, we visited the Island of San Cristobal. This island is one of the first to be colonized by the government of Ecuador, and where the capital of the archipelago is located. In the morning we visited a place known as Punta Pitt. Read More>

Sep 24, 2016 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

Clarkston and Hells Canyon

Low clouds in the east turned red-violet just before sunrise as the National Geographic Sea Bird was nearing our dock in Clarkston, Washington. As Captain Kay eased our little ship alongside, Bos’n jumped onto the dock and made all of the lines fast. Soon after breakfast we boarded jet boats piloted by Cap’n Chuck and Cap’n Eric and away we went upstream on the Snake River on this gorgeous and sunny morning, bound for wild and scenic Hells Canyon, the deepest river canyon in America. Near the river’s edge flocks of Canada geese and American coots rested on the water. A pair of blue-winged teal flew across the river right in front of our jet boat. Great blue herons stood silent like sentinels on the riverbanks, waiting for hapless fish to swim by. As we headed on upstream, great walls of layered lava flows loomed above us. Read More>

Sep 24, 2016 National Geographic Sea Bird in Pacific Northwest

The Snake River, Lower Monumental Dam and Palouse River

Around three A.M the National Geographic Sea Lion diverged from the mighty Columbia River and headed northeast up the Snake River. While everyone aboard was sleeping, the Sea Lion crossed through two locks overnight; the McNary Dam as well as Ice Harbor. Ice harbor is the closest dam to the mouth of the Snake. Shortly after breakfast we received word from the lockmaster at Lower Monumental Dam that they would allow us to bring our inflatable expedition craft into the massive lock chamber. Three expedition landing crafts were lowered off the boat deck and filled with brave guests craving a sense of perspective at just how large and powerful these lock systems are. We entered the 86ft wide and 665ft long concrete behemoth and waited as the water lifted the National Geographic Sea Lion and expedition landing crafts the entire 100ft to the next level of river. The slight wind and perfect temperature allowed for a delightful lunch on the sundeck as we approached our Palouse River anchorage. Read More>

Sep 24, 2016 National Geographic Sea Lion in Pacific Northwest

Pacaya Samiria

Early wake up for all of us aboard the Delfin II today. it was time to get a great breakfast to pack good energies for our best day of the expedition. As usual one by one our skiff started to depart on a new day’s expedition, this time, the Natural Reserve of Pacaya Samiria. A place full of flora and fauna. The day started with some herons and egrets, kingfishers and hawks looking at us curiously about the new visitors in the area. Read More>

Sep 23, 2016 Delfin II in Amazon

San Cristobal Island

The approach to Punta Pitt, the easternmost point of the island of San Cristobal (also known as Chatham) is dramatic in the early morning. It consists of a highly eroded tuff cone, possibly over 400,000 years old. Sharp ridges and deep ravines are starkly accented by the low light. The periodic heavy rains of the occasional El Niño events over the millennia have cut into the steep slopes with abandon. This morning our first impression was of a massive volcanic structure wrapped in low mist with a brisk wind blowing. Right after breakfast we disembarked, put our walking shoes on, and proceeded to climb. Read More>

Sep 23, 2016 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

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

 

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