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

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

Red Bluff Bay and Lake Eva

Red Bluff Bay is a long, narrow furrow cut deep into the crust of Baranof Island. The tiny passage from Chatham Strait into this fjord is passable only by small ships like the National Geographic Sea Bird. Once inside, towering rock faces protect the bay from winds, and the undisturbed waters create the illusion that our ship moves over a dark, glossy mirror reflecting the scenery from above. Up on the bow, we strain our necks to see the tops of countless ribbons of water streaking down the smooth rock faces; waterfalls so thin that some appear to simply vanish into a misty veil long before they reach the valleys below. Read More>

May 26, 2015 National Geographic Sea Bird in Alaska

At sea to Borneo

“Orangutans are on the verge of extinction. An expedition on National Geographic Orion increases awareness of this issue. By choosing to travel with Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic to the island of Borneo, guests are making a statement to the Indonesian Government as well as the Indonesian public that orangutans are important to the world.” - Dr. Read More>

May 26, 2015 National Geographic Orion in Borneo & Indonesia

Floreana Island

Today we arrived to Santa Maria, otherwise known as Floreana Island, and the ship was buzzing with anticipation. Very early this morning, our deck officer and some of the naturalists onboard the National Geographic Endeavour spotted the glare of what was reported next morning in social media as a “large explosive-effusive eruption” from Wolf Volcano, on Isabela Island. So our visit to Floreana today was full of volcanic stories. We had a pre-breakfast outing to enjoy the sunrise light in Punta Cormorant, and the pacific green turtle nesting site on it. Our day was quite colorful, as more than 50 flamingos, an outstanding number for Galapagos, were present in Floreana lagoon, getting ready for the mating season. The sight was fantastic, as was the contrast between the green sand we met upon arrival, made of the semiprecious stone peridot, and the fine powdery white sand of Flour Beach, at the end of the walk. Beauty surrounded us, and it was difficult to choose where to look! After breakfast, we navigated around the peninsula and anchored near by a small island, called Champion Island. Read More>

May 25, 2015 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Lofoten Islands, Norway

Early this morning our anchor slipped into the azure waters just offshore of Mastad, an erstwhile fishing village on Vaeroy, one of the Lofoten Islands lying off the northeast coast of Norway. This tiny settlement has a multi-layered narrative. Nestled beneath precipitous cliffs, its inhabitants tapped into the rich marine and seabird resources available here. For centuries fish were caught, dried, and salted. Shipped south to Bergen, they were traded for much needed provisions. A unique aspect of the island was the use of a locally bred dog, the lundehund, a small and hardy animal, for catching puffins. These birds were taken by the thousand and were a significant element in the islander’s diet. The last permanent resident left the village in 1974 but a small number of holiday homes are still in use. The morning was spent exploring the remnants of the village and its picturesque surrounds. Read More>

May 25, 2015 National Geographic Explorer in Arctic

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