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Taboga Island and Panamá Canal

After our longest cruising day on board National Geographic Sea Lion, we sailed towards the east, around Península de Azuero to reach the Gulf of Panama by the late morning. Despite the winds that accompanied our vessel, pantropical spotted dolphins, manta rays and a quick sighting of Bryde’s whale escorted us along the way. Brown and blue-footed boobies, as well as magnificent frigatebirds followed our vessel, specially as we came across Boná and Otoque islands, where due to the strong trade winds that blow the surface waters, an upwelling phenomenon brings currents full of nutrients and attracts large colonies of sea birds. At the end of the morning, we enjoyed a great introduction to Panama’s history through a presentation by our naturalist Cristian. Read More>

Jan 29, 2015 National Geographic Sea Lion in Costa Rica & Panama

Isla Espiritu Santo & Isla San Francisco

We began our day at Punta Dispensa on the coast of Isla Espiritu Santo. The dawn light was beautiful, illuminating a black cliff of ancient volcanic ash. Many went snorkeling at the foot of this cliff as soon as breakfast was over. Read More>

Jan 29, 2015 National Geographic Sea Bird in Baja California

Chau Doc and My An Hung, Vietnam

Following a full day on the Jahan regaining our sea legs, we rolled out of bed and into the Mekong dawn. At Chau Doc, twenty-five pax skiffs delivered us to one of Vietnam's famed floating markets. Skewered fruits and vegetables on the main beams of moored junks alerted the public to the produce of the day. Cameras flashed as unfit watermelons and bruised mangos zoomed skyward and into the murky waters as venders prepared for the first customer. For many, the junks doubled as fulltime houses. Tiny faces of children learning their parent's trade peered through portholes and into the waiting lenses of expedition photographers. Trading junks for the relative stability of moored houseboats, we got an up close and personal introduction to fish farming Mekong style. Read More>

Jan 29, 2015 Jahan in Vietnam & Cambodia

Santiago Island

We woke up to a beautiful cloudy day, and started our day with a pre-breakfast outing, at “Espumilla beach” which is a black sandy beach off the cost of Santiago. Once on land, we spotted a couple of pacific green sea turtles nesting and plenty of turtle tracks along the sandy coast. Most of our group hiked further into the island, while some of our guests chose to go on a photography walk along the coast instead. After breakfast, we offered a kayaking option as well as a Zodiac ride along the coast of Buccaneer’s Cove, where we had the opportunity to see some swallow tailed gulls, blue footed boobies, brown pelicans, and interesting geological formations as a result of erosion over the years. Read More>

Jan 29, 2015 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

Santa Cruz Island

Early this morning, we arrived to Santa Cruz Island, which is the second largest island in Galapagos and is also the home for the main headquarters of the Charles Darwin Research Station. After breakfast, we drove a few minutes to the entrance of the Galapagos National Park and we walked towards the giant tortoises’ breeding center, where we were able to observe the great work done here to save Galapagos giant tortoises from extinction. The different corrals that house the tortoises have been specially developed with all the right conditions necessary for breeding these animals in captivity. We also observed some Galapagos land iguanas that are kept in captivity here, but the National Park has a different breeding project carried out in semi-captivity on an islet near Santa Cruz Island for this species of reptile. After our visit to the station, we walked into town and had a chance to go shopping, and to experience the way the locals live here. Read More>

Jan 29, 2015 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Granito de Oro Islet, Coiba National Park

National Geographic Sea Lion cruised its way from Costa Rica to Panama during the night. It was escorted by a night sky loaded with stars. The Southern Cross could be seen on the starboard side. Little by little the stars began to vanish as the first sun rays began to show up. The sun announced his arrival with a spectacular orange sky. Read More>

Jan 28, 2015 National Geographic Sea Lion in Costa Rica & Panama

San Jose del Cabo & Gorda Bank

After having sailed south during the night, we arrived at Land’s End shortly before sunrise; the granite pinnacles at the southern end of the peninsula of Baja California, also known as the Friar’s Rocks, are a landmark of the region, particularly the world famous arch that constitutes a symbol of the peninsula for many people around the globe. We had the chance to admire it with the soft low light of the early morning, as numerous sport fishing boats raced out of the marina looking for yellow fin tuna, dorado, sailfish, or even striped marlin. Land’s End is also the western boundary of the Gulf of California or Sea of Cortez, and we entered it to explore it for the rest of the week. We continued sailing to the east and shortly afterward arrived to the new marina of Puerto Los Cabos in San Jose del Cabo; we disembarked and divided in two groups, some to go bird watching at the estuary and some to mix with the local people in town. Read More>

Jan 28, 2015 National Geographic Sea Bird in Baja California

Drake Passage

And we are off!  Yesterday, we boarded National Geographic Orion in Ushuaia and set sail on this epic journey to Antarctica, South Georgia Island, and the Falklands. We traveled down the Beagle Channel and somewhere last night we entered the southern ocean. The Drake Passage, a body of water known for its rough seas, was placid. We awoke this morning to gentle winds and calm seas as we headed south. Throughout the day, we kept a continual watch for seabirds. Read More>

Jan 28, 2015 National Geographic Orion in Antarctica

Isabela Island

Isabela Island is the largest Island in this oceanic archipelago, and it has many visitor sites to offer for our visitors, which is why we will spend a second full day in this area. Today we offer two visitor sites to explore—Our morning activities will be at Urbina Bay, and we will move on to Tagus Cove in the afternoon. Urbina Bay has very important evidence of a volcanic uplifting process, which probably took place in 1952, and the best evidence for this episode is a coral head almost 15 feet above sea level, and many shells of barnacles and sea worms attached to the rocks. Read More>

Jan 28, 2015 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

At Sea: Cape Horn to Ushuaia

Early risers were treated to a lovely sunrise at 5:30 a.m. over the Drake Passage. The clear eastern horizon enabled the sun to paint the underside of low clouds off to the west in various shades of orange and pink. The gentle motion of the National Geographic Explorer that we enjoyed through the night began to change as we made our approach to the storied Cape Horn. Boisterous seas driven by steady 35 knot winds from the west slapped benignly at our bow until our captain turned the ship eastward toward the Beagle Channel. Our turn, several miles from the cape, offered an excellent opportunity to see and photograph this legendary point of land. Those of us who lingered on deck were rewarded with two small groups of bow-riding Peale’s dolphins that enjoyed being pushed along by the ship’s pressure wave. At 11:00 Susan Solomon presented a very interesting talk on the way the Earth’s changing climate is affecting Antarctica, and at 1:30 Lisa Kelley regaled us with tales of her time spent as overwintering manager of the U. Read More>

Jan 28, 2015 National Geographic Explorer in Antarctica

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