From the National Geographic Islander in Galápagos
Dec 28, 2012 - National Geographic Islander
Sombrero Chino and Santiago Island
We woke up in the central part of the archipelago, off the coast of Sombrero Chino Island with clear skies and beautiful turquoise waters. The geology around us is marvelous, there are no words to describe such a great diversity of volcanic features concentrated in the same area.
After breakfast, all of us went on a Zodiac ride to explore a nice sheltered channel between Santiago Island and Sombrero Chino, the tide was very low, so we could see the entire intertidal zone where a lot of Sally Lightfoot crabs and iguanas were feeding.
Galápagos penguins were spotted courting on the rocks; this moment was very special because sometimes is difficult to find them but they were posing for us.
After our Zodiac ride we headed back on board to get our snorkeling gear and immediately afterwards went for a deep water snorkeling outing. The conditions at this place have been the best in the week so far: big schools of fish, penguins, sharks, rays, and feeding iguanas were found!
In the afternoon, the National Geographic Islander was repositioned for our next activity—the lava hike at Sullivan Bay. While walking at this huge lava flow it felt like exploring a different world, the lava field was very black and shiny due to its basaltic composition full of minerals; many new volcanic features were observed for the first time, specially the giant spatter cones and driblet cones.