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At Sea, Borneo

After two action packed days exploring the jungles surrounding the Kumai River, we all enjoyed a well-deserved sleep in this morning as National Geographic Orion slowly navigated the Karimata Strait. After a hearty breakfast we joined one of our naturalists, Cristiana Damiano, in the lounge to learn about the upcoming snorkel and scuba diving operations tomorrow. We listened closely to the tips she gave us on proper snorkeling techniques and what to do in an emergency. After the briefing we headed up to deck six and received our snorkeling equipment from our friendly expedition team. We adjusted our new masks, made sure our fins fit comfortably, and even tried on our sexy lycra ‘stinger’ suits. After a few good laughs at our new swimming attire we joined National Geographic photographer Ralph Lee Hopkins in the lounge for his interesting photography presentation entitled: “Photography: Buttons and Dials. Read More>

May 29, 2015 National Geographic Orion in Borneo & Indonesia

Bartolome & Chinese Hat

At 6:30 in the morning, we were ready for our first excursion of the day on Bartolome, a small island known for its truly fantastic volcanic landscape, which is reminiscent of the moon’s surface. The National Park has built a boardwalk here, consisting of approximately 376 wooden steps, to protect the island from erosion and also to help visitors get to the top of the island, which features an outstanding view of the surroundings and of other islands in the vicinity. Read More>

May 28, 2015 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Amorgos, Greece

Soft rays of sunlight highlighted the blue domes of the numerous small white chapels ringing the sheltered harbor of Katapola as Sea Cloud dropped anchor during breakfast. Within minutes the tenders got to work ferrying the majority of the ship’s company to the pier for the 20-minute bus trip up, over, and down the steep switchbacks on the far side of the island to the base of the cliff from where we could start our hike to spectacular 11th century monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa. Clinging to the face of an overhanging cliff, the whitewashed walls of this edifice stand six-stores high, yet the structure itself is just 40m long and 5m wide. Read More>

May 28, 2015 Sea Cloud in Mediterranean

Tinos, Greece

The mighty Greek god Zeus put on a spectacular display of athletic prowess tossing his thunderbolts and lighting across the night sky, yet despite dire predictions of rainstorms, dawn brought sunny skies and relatively calm seas to our little corner of the Aegean. Shortly after breakfast the captain ordered the crew aloft to loosen the sails in preparation for our morning’s sail. Read More>

May 27, 2015 Sea Cloud in Mediterranean

Dragon Hill (Santa Cruz) and Wolf Volcano (Isabela) VIDEO

Today we navigated towards the uninhabited side of Santa Cruz Island, after having visited the town and the highlands. We woke up to a mix of greenery and arid landscapes alongside our ship. After a dry landing, we hiked inland to a visitor site known as Dragon hill, named for the colossal yellow land iguanas found here. Along the way, we encountered a few birds resting and feeding by the shoreline, including some lava herons, great blue herons, wandering tattlers and common cactus finches. We soon found a brackish water lagoon, full of pintail ducks and a couple of black necked stilts with two little chicks, who allowed us to photograph them as they walked along the grass by the shore. After crossing an incense tree forest, we arrived to the nesting ground of the Galapagos land iguanas, and we spotted plenty of them basking in the middle of the path, while others were feeding on the greenery. We finished our land expedition of the day, and now we were ready to jump into the refreshing ocean around Guy Fawkes islets, surrounded by open water and amazing marine life. Read More>

May 27, 2015 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Lake Eva

This morning the National Geographic Sea Lion dropped anchor in Hanus Bay in Peril Strait. We awoke to a little moisture in the atmosphere, which nurtured the thirsty earth that has seen little in the way of snow and rain these last few months. After breakfast we donned our boots and life jackets and set out on the activities of the morning. Some chose to kayak or hike or do both in the area known as Lake Eva. The enchanted forest beckoned us in and we were greeted by the introduced red tree squirrel above its impressive midden. A little further down the trail a pile of bear scat reminded us we were in bear country and being on Baranof Island (one of the ABCs) we knew this pile had to be from a brown bear. Like the Tlingit who once made this area a seasonal fish camp, the bears are drawn to this watershed for the salmon returning to spawn in the river, lake and lagoon. Learning about the salmon in the trees and the evidence of N15 (an isotope found only in the ocean) in tree rings really helped to drive home the interconnected nature of this web of temperate rainforest. Banana slugs on the trail emerged from their torpor, happy for the moisture, as a varied thrush sang its police whistle-like-song looking for love on the limbs. It’s an incredible forest that speaks to the soul of a life primordial.  We should feel blessed that we have big trees thanks to those that have fought for their preservation. After lunch we explored Sitkoh Bay on Chichagof Island and saw the remains of a once thriving cannery (1901-1974) where native Tlingit and Chinese dominated the work force. Read More>

May 27, 2015 National Geographic Sea Lion in Alaska

Santa Cruz Island

After an incredible evening, spent observing the eruption of Wolf Volcano in Isabela, we navigated all night long, more than 70 nm, to reach the southeast tip of Santa Cruz Island. Santa Cruz, also known as Indefatigable or Norfolk Island, is the second largest Island in the archipelago. Read More>

May 26, 2015 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Ideal Cove and Petersburg

It was another lovely day in Southeast Alaska aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion.  The sun greeted us yet again as we awoke in Frederick Sound near a beautiful little bay aptly named, Ideal Cove.  Once breakfast was over, we set out in our inflatable landing crafts and headed to shore where we assembled for an assortment of hikes on Mitkof Island.  The trail wound through a lush forest carpeted with ferns, mosses and false lily-of-the-valleys.  Higher above the ground, blueberry and salmonberry bushes stretched out their leave-filled branches, an occasional few with delicate pink flowers beckoning winged pollinators.  Higher still, the hemlock canopy crowded out all but the occasional Sitka spruce tree.  Throughout the forest, song birds flitted about, perching from time to time to sing sweet flute-like phrases and warbling trills.  A highlight was a red-breasted sapsucker that sullied from a perch in front of us and then landed on a nearby hemlock.  From there it proceeded to tap the trunk with its chisel-like bill to create holes from which sap would soon flow and, ultimately, trap small insects for a later meal.  After lunch, we headed to Petersburg on the other side of Mitkof Island. Read More>

May 26, 2015 National Geographic Sea Lion in Alaska

Hellemobotn, Tysfjorden and Leiknes

The long Arctic morning began with the ship sailing through the majestic Tysfjorden, surrounded by snow-capped mountains and dotted with numerous clusters of colourful houses too small to even be described as villages. Gradually, these settlements became fewer and fewer as the sides of the fjord began to steepen and rise up, leading us to its end. Here we found the forests of the national park leading up the valley. Read More>

May 26, 2015 National Geographic Explorer in Arctic

Sifnos Island

It's been a very pleasant overnight sailing from Piraeus to Sifnos island. We waved goodnight to Go Poseidon as we sailed past his temple at the southern most end of Sounion Peninsula. The god promised to take care of us while we'll be at sea just as long as we poured some wine in the sea every night! Early in the morning we anchored at Kamares which is the main harbor of Sifnos island. Read More>

May 26, 2015 Sea Cloud in Mediterranean

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

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