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Espanola Island

Our expedition is heading south to a small island today. The Galapagos archipelago was formed around fifteen million years ago, but the islands we see today are not those formed that long back. The oldest islands of this beautiful archipelago are close to five million years. Espanola is our destination today, and along with the island of San Cristobal which we saw yesterday, they are the oldest islands. Although, they have been completely reformed from how they used to be. Española is an island with great attractions and today we get to see it all. For the morning we have reserved a visit to a place called Gardener Bay. Read More>

Aug 30, 2015 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Loch Nevis, Loch Hourn, Pockton & Eiean Donnan

We awoke to a quiet, moist dawn in Inverie, mainland Britain’s most isolated village. The village thrives on fishing and tourism, the latter mainly independent travellers walking the region’s challenging long distance trails, many of whom we had met the previous evening slaking their thirst in the cozy village pub, The Old Forge Inn. Casting our lines, we spent the rest of the morning exploring the magnificent scenery of this remote area of the western Scottish mainland, sailing out of Loch Nevis and into Loch Hourn before entering the narrows at Kyle Rhea en route to our final berthing of the voyage at Kyle of Lochalsh. The afternoon had two options: a tour of the local area to include Eilean Donan Castle and the fishing village of Plockton and a more physically challenging hike in the Cuillin hills on the Isle of Skye. Read More>

Aug 30, 2015 Lord of the Glens in Scotland

Endicott Arm

Though we awoke to a gray and drizzly morning, excitement still buzzed through the air as our first morning aboard National Geographic Sea Bird began. As we made our way along the vertical granite walls down the 30 mile fjord of Endicott Arm, we noticed the icebergs getting more abundant. Shortly after breakfast we saw a blue hue at the end of the fjord—Dawes glacier! The wind had a strong bite near the face of the glacier but was worth the wait to hear the white thunder of the calving glacier. Harbor seals roamed the surrounding water and curiously poked their heads above the surface to view our boats. Even some harbor porpoises came out to play! As guests thawed out during lunch, we made our way back out of the fjord and headed towards Ford’s Terror through narrow, twisting channels. Read More>

Aug 30, 2015 National Geographic Sea Bird in Alaska

Llanalpa and Yarapa River

A gentle fog covered the surface of the Ucayali River early in the morning. We had spent the night close to the town of Llanalpa and now, the area invited us to explore it. Right before breakfast we geared up and loaded the skiffs. Read More>

Aug 29, 2015 Delfin II in Amazon

Fram Sound, Hell Gate, Norwegian Bay & Eureka Sound, Nunavut

Boldly going where no expedition ship has gone before the National Geographic Explorer plotted a new course last night. As the east coast of Ellesmere is still hopelessly clogged with thick sheets of “old” pack ice and beset by 30-knot winds that would have prevented us from exploring Ellesmere as planned, we headed off into uncharted territory as for the first time in decades the west coast of the island is ice free due to a 10-mile thick plug of ice lodged between the north end of Axel Heiberg and Ellesmere Islands. So instead of heading east out of Jones Sound on the north coast of Devon Island, we turned northwest and headed into Fram Sound bound for the ominously named Hell Gate Strait and Norwegian Bay on the west side of Ellesmere Island. Gentle northwest winds had cleared a path for our transit through Hell Gate in the early hours from which we emerged into Norwegian Bay, that save a few white and turquoise “bergy bits,” was calm and clear. At breakfast we crossed Latitude 77 and spotted our 50th polar bear of the trip, which was perched on the one large ice flow of the day—she too was enjoying breakfast! In recent memory according to our ice captain, Germain Tremblay, no ship has traversed Norwegian Bay without an icebreaker, yet today astonishingly there was hardly any ice to be seen! Throughout the morning we took up positions around the ship and watched as the marine cloud lifted and revealed the breathtaking scenery of this unexplored region unfolded around us: to port—the low, tundra covered slopes of Graham Island and on our starboard—the Bjorne Peninsula of Ellesmere Island. Read More>

Aug 29, 2015 National Geographic Explorer in Arctic

San Cristobal Island

We visited San Cristobal Island on the last day of our expedition and it was the first island visited by Charles Darwin during the Voyage of the MSS Beagle in September, 1835. We started our first hike in Punta Pitt, an old tuff cone with high cliffs. The hike led us to a wonderful view and dry plateau covered with patches of the purple Sesuvium portulacastrum, or Galapagos carpet weed. We found a colony of red footed boobies nesting. These boobies are the only ones, among the 3 species found in Galapagos that nest in trees and bushes along the cliffs. Today we got to see some chicks and eggs. Once we finished our beautiful uphill hike it was time to enjoy the beach and the playful sea lions.  We had a blast swimming and taking pictures of them. After lunch we sailed towards the beautiful offshore islet known Leon Dormido, or Kicker Rock, an old rocky outcrop which is the remainder of a volcanic tuff cone eroded by the wind and wave action over thousands of years. Read More>

Aug 29, 2015 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

Island Hopping to the British Mainland

We sailed early to reach lovely Tobermory, the main town on the Isle of Mull. We had the options of either joining Steve on a photo walk or Konia to hear a bit about the history and look at some gardens around the town or do our own thing. Not even a slightly damp morning can spoil the charm of this multi-coloured town. And the shops are really interesting too! During lunch we set sail for the Isle of Skye. Read More>

Aug 29, 2015 Lord of the Glens in Scotland

Sumbawa Island

On this day we found ourselves enjoying the last full day of the expedition. It’s a strange thing, being sad in paradise, but we have all become close from the amazing experiences we have had together since leaving Broome, in Western Australia. The thought of no longer travelling together was a glum one. We were no longer a ship full of individuals as we started, but we had become a tight group of people on an expedition that took us through different times and worlds. We had travelled through the region of the Kimberley Coast, which even with all attempts, the beauty couldn’t quite be put into words. Then, travelling north, we are ending in the vastly different but equally beautiful Indonesian Islands. Today we found ourselves at Sumbawa Island in Indonesia. Read More>

Aug 29, 2015 National Geographic Orion in Pacific Islands & Australia

Tracy Arm- Ford’s Terror Wilderness

In steep fiords, rain equals waterfalls. How fortunate for us! Today we’ve passed perhaps a hundred thousand-foot cascades of tumbling water: water sheeting over rock faces, ephemeral transparent veils of tiny droplets, and scalloped layers streaming down the mountainside. Water defines the temperate rainforest (and Southeast Alaska)--both the warm salty Pacific Ocean currents and the cloud condensation we are moving through today. Water in its solid glacial form entranced us this morning. Read More>

Aug 29, 2015 National Geographic Sea Lion in Alaska

Pacaya River & Zapote River

Today’s Amazon exploration brought us to one of the farthest points of the Ucayali River: The Pacaya River. This tributary is a mosaic of wildlife, and a comfortable skiff ride was the perfect way to begin exploration. A combination of snowy and great egrets were found along the edges of the stream. Horn screamers looked perfect for photo opportunities as they perched on top of the bushes. Large billed terns always looked ready to catch fish from the surface. A mixture of cocoi herons, Jabiru wood storks, and neo-tropic cormorants painted the jungle with delightful wildlife. Read More>

Aug 28, 2015 Delfin II in Amazon

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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.