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Lastest Expedition Reports

Santa Cruz, Guy Fawkes and Daphne Major Islets

Last night National Geographic Endeavour sailed out of Academy Bay on the southeastern end of Santa Cruz Island to the anchorage off Cerro Dragon on the shallow northern shore. After a nutritious breakfast, we set off to hike around this area that has been named “Dragon Hill” after the yellow and orange land iguanas that inhabit this semi-arid forest of incense trees. Read More>

Sep 28, 2016 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

The Dalles and Maryhill Museum and Winery

Our beautiful sunrise started over a basalt ridge on the Columbia River as the National Geographic Sea Bird cruised along toward the small historic-rich town of The Dalles, Oregon. The yoga stretchers lined the sundeck to wake up their bodies and ready them for a day of activities in the area. After a satisfying breakfast, eager adventurers boarded expedition landing crafts and landed on the shores of The Dalles, for a morning at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center. There was a stunning raptor show to attend and great information about the Lewis and Clark Corp of Discovery. Hikers walked the grounds of the center with naturalist, Grace Winer to catch glimpses of local birds and plants. The energized walkers and bikers went 5.2 miles all the way back to the ship and the remaining group stayed for all the information at the well-presented center. Lunch provided a refreshing start to our afternoon of continued insights into this area of Oregon. Read More>

Sep 28, 2016 National Geographic Sea Bird in Pacific Northwest

Palouse Falls and Snake River

This morning we awoke with the National Geographic Sea Lion positioned at the mouth of the Palouse River where it empties into the Snake River.  After an early breakfast, we began our morning activities along and above the Palouse River.  We all boarded our expedition landing crafts; half departed up the Palouse River to view the towering basalt cliffs and the wildlife.  We saw great blue herons, snowy egrets, coots, the nests of bank swallows, and mule deer.  A jackrabbit bounded away from the shore and a golden eagle and a red tailed hawk sailed overhead. The other group took the inflatable boats to the landing beach and boarded a motor coach that took us from river level up to the bluffs above the river. Read More>

Sep 28, 2016 National Geographic Sea Lion in Pacific Northwest

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

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

 

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