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Los Islotes and Punta Dispensa

This morning we woke up to a flat, calm sea, and an impressive green flash was the start to our day. We experienced amazingly calm seas throughout last night's sailing, and from early on, we were ready to enjoy our second day in the Gulf of California. The morning destination was Los Islotes. Read More>

Mar 3, 2015 National Geographic Sea Bird in Baja California

Bona, Otoque and Iguana Islands, Gulf of Panama

A beautiful breezy, sunny morning greeted us on the National Geographic Sea Lion.  Our yoga mats tried to blow off the sun deck during our stretching class, but we persevered.  An “early bird cruise” set off before breakfast and cruised towards guano covered Bona Island.  Birds, birds, and more birds. Read More>

Mar 2, 2015 National Geographic Sea Lion in Costa Rica & Panama

St. Lucia

Today, we took advantage of the magic that is Sea Cloud.  This incredible ship, built to sail in the old style, in comfort, was used to its fullest.   In the morning, we were sailing with the spectacular backdrop of St. Lucia.   After lunch, we tucked in close to shore and anchored to explore this gorgeous island.  Finally, at sunset, we drifted off the famous Pitons once again enjoying the comfort and luxury of Sea Cloud.  With favorable winds, this morning the crew set nearly all the sails. Read More>

Mar 2, 2015 Sea Cloud in Caribbean

Floreana Island

Floreana Island, one of the four inhabited Islands in Galapagos, was named after the first president of Ecuador, Juan José Flores. It was during his administration that the government of Ecuador took possession of the archipelago. It was previously called Charles Island (after King Charles II of England), and Santa Maria after one of the caravels of Columbus. The island has an area of 173 square kilometers (67 sq mi), and a small population of about 130 inhabitants has a very interesting human history since the discovery of the Islands in 1535 by the Spanish Bishop Tomas de Berlanga. Read More>

Mar 2, 2015 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Chau Doc

The mighty Mekong River slips past Jahan, our vessel for this expedition from Vietnam to Cambodia, as we make our way gently downstream. With beautiful clear skies above us, our morning begins as our two groups head away from the mothership towards the Chau Doc floating markets. Nestling together in the mainstream, numerous small wooden vessels are a hive of activity as we approach. Each boat boasts a wooden pole proudly displaying the wares for sale, a variety of locally produced fruits and vegetables. They've been here since 5 am, when local farmers visited each in turn to drop off their stock, and will remain throughout the day to trade, sell and barter. They wave at us happily as we pass, and then carry on their business. All of the boats sport a distinctive pair of "eyes" painted onto the hull, just beneath the prow. Read More>

Mar 2, 2015 Jahan in Vietnam & Cambodia

Española Island

Today we awakened off the northern central coast of Espanola. The crystalline aquamarine waters of Gardner Bay surrounded us. Later in the morning, after breakfast, we had a snorkeling briefing and out-fitting. Once ready and instructed we went to explore the area. As the sun was shining up in the sky, illuminating the depths around us, we headed out to explore the underwater realm by snorkeling. We found an amazing abundance of sea life including Galapagos sea lions, large schools of Yellow-tailed Surgeon fish, grunts, diamond rays, and colorful walls teaming with diverse invertebrates.   Some guests opted to go on a stroll along a dazzling white beach. Read More>

Mar 2, 2015 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

Iles des Saints

We sailed into the bay of Terre Haut, the largest of the inhabited islands in the tiny archipelago called Iles des Saints (The Saints), at 6:45 a.m. These gem like islands were discovered and named by Columbus because he first saw them on November 1, the feast of All Saints – hence their name. They are part of the much larger Department of Guadalupe, which has the same relationship to France as the Hawaiian Islands have to the US. We are actually in France and the currency is the Euro and everything is French including language, the tri-color flying overhead and cuisine. We went ashore at 8:30 a.m. Forty of us went on a visit to the very historic Fort Napoleon sitting on a bluff overlooking the city. The views from Fort Napoleon are spectacular and the Sea Cloud rode majestically in the middle of the bay. This gracious old fort is now a museum and a botanical garden featuring a wide variety of cacti and euphorbia. The grounds surrounding the fort are also home to a resident community of quite large marine iguana. As we arrived at 9AM, and the sun not yet too strong, the iguanas were still sluggish and quite approachable. Of course not that approachable, as one does not easily walk up to a 5’ long dinosaur-looking lizard. The museum holds local ethnographic materials. Of particular interest is the very good diorama of the famous “Battle of the Saints,” which took place two miles directly south of here. The British and French fought a fierce sea battle with the British ultimately the victors. The great innovation of the battle was English’s opportunity to complete a “crossing of the T.” 18th century sea battles were fought with the opposing ships aligned parallel to one another firing cannons at each other until one side succumbed. “Crossing the T” allowed the English to break through the French line and thus fire on the French from both port and starboard sides. It turned into a route.   The main town on the island of Terre Haut (the high ground) is called quite simply the “city” (Bourg). Read More>

Mar 1, 2015 Sea Cloud in Caribbean

Stromness & Hercules Bay

It is not often that one gets to follow the path of greatness, and yet aboard the National Geographic Orion we have set a course to follow the harrowed journey of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men. Today we finished that journey by arriving at Stromness, the very whaling station that Shackleton forded the mountains of South Georgia to reach so that his men would be saved from their camp on Elephant Island. Remnants of the bygone industry were still scattered about amongst the myriad of wildlife. Read More>

Mar 1, 2015 National Geographic Orion in Antarctica

Barro Colorado Island & Panama Canal

After our very successful crossing of the Panama Canal’s Gatun Locks last night, National Geographic Sea Lion spent a peaceful night anchored at Gatun Lake at 85 feet above sea level.  Before the break of dawn and while deep in our dreams, a second Panama Canal pilot directed us to our destination. Read More>

Mar 1, 2015 National Geographic Sea Lion in Costa Rica & Panama

Isla Danzante

You can’t help but smile when you find out that you are headed for an island called Danzante, the dancer.  What images pop into your head?  Cardon cacti dancing in the moonlight?  Gulls doing the boogy-woogy on the beach?  Neither of those things happened, but amazing things did nonetheless. As we navigated towards the island, we discovered a smattering of dolphins.  Effortlessly riding the bow wave of the National Geographic Sea Bird were bottlenose dolphins.  We challenged ourselves to photograph these speedsters of the sea.  Whether or not we captured the image with our cameras, we definitely etched a memory in our minds.  We moved quickly up the cetaceanal ladder from dolphins to blue whales. Read More>

Mar 1, 2015 National Geographic Sea Bird in Baja California

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