From the National Geographic Endeavour in Galapagos
Nov 7, 2012 - National Geographic Endeavour
We navigated towards Santiago Island, a place on this archipelago with plenty of human history. Early in the morning we had a wet landing, during a pre-breakfast outing around a great visitor site of Santiago, a black sand beach known as “Espumilla.” Along our hike, we encountered an old incense tree forest, some Darwin finches and a playful young Galápagos Hawk who took our shoes into the bushes.
After breakfast we had many choices for the rest of the morning, as the ship repositioned at Buccaneer’s cove. This was a popular place for whalers, pirates and anyone who during the 17th century was in search of giant tortoises. Some of us went deep water snorkeling along the coast; many fish were seen, as well as a white tip reef shark. All the sudden we spotted dolphins within the bay area and we swam in search of them. Some of the guests in the water were more than lucky, as they had the chance to swim with a pod of five bottle-nose dolphins. They stayed with us for quite a while, doing tricks and greeting us by surrounding us several times. It was a magical experience! Our group of kayakers also had the same dolphins close to them, while others saw them from the Zodiacs. What an amazing morning we had a buccaneer’s cove.
During the afternoon, some of us went on a hike along the coast of Santiago to explore an area with wonderful geological formations and plenty of shore birds. Once we got to the end of the path we encountered some Galápagos fur sea lions resting along the walls of some collapsed lava tubes that meet the ocean. This place is known as “the grottos”. While some went on this great hike, others enjoy the ocean and went snorkeling with turtles, rays, sharks and plenty of blue-footed boobies diving for food right next to our guests in the water.
Nature keeps surprising us, and it will never stop. Life in the Galápagos is so unique and the experiences we have every day are just incredible!