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Santa Cruz Island

Lots of choices for how to spend the morning here in town: visit the tortoise breeding center operated by the Galapagos National Park; walk around town on your own; or join our artist-in-residence Amy Wright for a couple hours to sketch the happenings around town – particularly the fisherman’s market where the morning catch is desired by everyone – the two-winged, two-legged and four-flippered residents as well! Then late morning another series of choices is on offer. Read More>

Sep 27, 2016 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Palouse River

At dawn the National Geographic Sea Bird approached Little Goose Dam on the Snake River. The weather was clear and mild and we locked through the dam at breakfast time. Soon Captain Kay was easing our ship into the mouth of the Palouse River and here we dropped anchor and prepared for our day’s activities. First those who were on their way to Palouse Falls boarded the expedition landing crafts and went ashore to meet a motor coach for the ride to the falls. A freight train was crossing the Joso High Bridge, a trestle popular internationally with railroad aficionados. It was built before WWI to shorten the journey from Spokane to the coast. We drove up to the Channeled Scablands, an area ravaged by the great Ice Age floods. Western meadowlarks flew up from the fields on either side of the road. Tumbleweeds, also known as Russian thistles, lined the road; they are not as romantic as old western songs would lead us to believe. At Palouse Falls the Palouse River plummets over the lip of a basalt flow and drops 298 feet into its round, dark plunge pool. Read More>

Sep 27, 2016 National Geographic Sea Bird in Pacific Northwest

Clarkston Washington and the Snake River

The National Geographic Sea Lion docked overnight in the town of Clarkston, Washington. The early risers amongst us were greeted by a beautiful sunrise illuminating both the Snake River and the high desert hillsides while numerous small aluminum craft were fishing for salmon and steelhead. At 8:30 the group divided and stepped onto two jet boats, which headed south into Hells Canyon, the deepest canyon in North America.  The skilled captains smoothly navigated their craft through rapids, shallows and narrow channels guiding us just over 50 miles up the Snake River. Although a seemingly barren landscape, the canyon is rich in history, abundant with wildlife and comprised of interesting geology. Read More>

Sep 26, 2016 National Geographic Sea Lion in Pacific Northwest

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

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

 

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