From the National Geographic Endeavour in Galapagos
Nov 6, 2012 - National Geographic Endeavour
The largest island of the Galápagos has many locations open to visitors; two of them are on our schedule today, Urbina bay is the first of the day, this is an area where an uplift occurred in 1954, this event probably happened over a short period of time and several animals were trapped without escape and can still be seen as you walk the interior of the island on a trail designed by National Park of Galápagos. Huge pieces of coral are now exposed to sun and surrounded by land life.
Among these are Land iguanas and Giant tortoises both unique to these islands. Here, tortoises nest and spend their time until they return to the top of the volcano some miles uphill. Land iguanas nest and live here all of the time, making them almost predictable.
Lava lizards, finches, warblers and Galápagos hawks can always be seen here as they are part of this environment. Also, turtles and sea lions come here to find some food or just to rest on the coralline sandy beaches along the coast, that also host shore and migratory birds from other latitudes.
We have been so lucky these days to see dolphins and whales; today was not different because we saw a Humpback whale and its calf as we were moving on the Zodiacs into the landing.
The afternoon came with another surprise; this time our guests on the kayaks had bottle nosed dolphins coming so close to them, that some got splashed from their stunts.
Those that went snorkeling had a blast with turtles, sea lions, penguins and many different types of fish. All in one day may sound like too much, but this is good day in the Galápagos.
Later the groups departed in different directions. Some decided to go on a power hike to visit Darwin Lake over a small elevation. This lake is not directly visible to the ocean, but fed by it because its water is twice as salty as the ocean. Life would be rare here under these conditions of salinity.
Others went on a Zodiac ride along the coast of the island for nesting cormorants, penguins, pelicans and boobies will be around diving for fish, which are plentiful in the area.
To finish another great day in the Galápagos we saw a marvelous sunset behind the active islands of Fernandina, only seen from this side of the islands.