From the National Geographic Endeavour in the Galapagos
Dec 13, 2012 - National Geographic Endeavour
Bartholomew and Sombrero Chino Islands
Early today we climbed to the top of Bartholomew Island which is famous for its geology and landscapes. This island still looks very much as all the islands did at the beginning; there is very little vegetation and the lava flows, lava tubes, and spatter cones look almost intact.
We also found that the little vegetation that exists here is well-adapted to this harsh environment. We found lava cactus, Galapagos mat plant, and lichens which are all pioneers on the lavas here in the archipelago.
After our walk to the top of the island we returned aboard for breakfast and then went back to the shore. We used a different area of the island where we snorkeled around Pinnacle Rock and saw different species of fish as well as marine invertebrates. For our guests who wanted to stay dry and see marine life, we had our glass bottom boat deployed and we were very successful at observing from it.
After this great morning we lifted up anchor and headed towards Sombrero Chino Island. On the way we were lucky and encountered three orcas feeding while a large number of frigate birds and Galapagos storm petrels were trying to get some of their leftovers. As we arrived at our destination we went snorkeling. This is one of the most beautiful places in the archipelago. It has great landscapes and the variety of marine life made this an unforgettable snorkeling outing. Some of our guests snorkeled with white tipped reef sharks as well as Galapagos penguins.
Later in the afternoon we returned to Sombrero Chino for a Zodiac ride and observed penguins, Galapagos sea lions, Galapagos hawks and marine iguanas. This was a great day in the islands!