Lindblad Expeditions - From the National Geographic Islander in Galapagos - Carlos Romero, expedition leader; Photos: Christia
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From the National Geographic Islander in Galapagos

Jan 5, 2013 - National Geographic Islander

Spotted Eagle Ray
Ray Close up

Cristobal Island

After navigating the whole night, we arrived today to the northeastern side of San Cristobal Island. We arrived to our destination, Punta Pitt around breakfast time. We began the planned activities of the day with a short Zodiac ride along this volcanic coast. We observed all three species of boobies: red-footed booby, Nazca booby and blue-footed booby all together in the same area. Several Galápagos sea lions, magnificent and great frigate birds, brown noddy terns and brown pelicans were also seen.

After the ride we went ashore and climbed up along a dry, old and steep natural entrance to a plateau where we had extraordinary volcanic views with touches of red and green of the surrounding vegetation. We found red-footed boobies nesting and also challenging the strong winds we had today while masterfully flying all over. After the walk we returned to the landing beach for a good swim in the nice warm waters on Punta Pitt. We were accompanied by some Galapagos sea lions that were tossing and turning on the sparkling greenish sand while others joined us swimming.

In the afternoon we went for the last deep water snorkeling outing of the week. We went along the cliffs of León Dormido, this old eroded tuff cone is also known as Kicker Rock. Today’s snorkeling was extraordinary, our guests swam with colorful schools of fish, and even some juvenile hammerhead sharks showed off for a few minutes. There were also some colorful sea stars, barnacles, sea urchins, sponges, and soft orange cup corals along the wall. A spectacular sighting of a Spotted Eagle Ray at a short distance was a highlight of this great outing. We had a blast snorkeling around this famous location. We came onboard to circumnavigate around León Dormido as the sun was slowly disappearing under the horizon. The astonishing landscape and the magical light made us dream of a better future for the conservation of our planet.

This expedition has come to an end. I just have to tell you, dear friends, that you may be leaving Galapagos tomorrow but the Galapagos will never leave you. These fascinating islands are already impregnated in your hearts and minds and they will evoke in you perennial feelings and memories.

About the Author

Carlos Romero·Expedition Leader

Carlos was born in Quito, Ecuador and grew up in Venezuela, where he lived for many years near the ocean and later the rainforest. He returned to Quito to study biology and specialized in the fauna of Ecuador. His main field of study was zoology with an emphasis on vertebrates. He has a doctorate in biology and a master’s in ecotourism and natural protected areas management. He designed a new curriculum for the largest university in Ecuador, the Central University— a masters in environmental management and administration of natural protected areas. Carlos has also taken part in various scientific projects and expeditions with the Biological Sciences Department of Quito’s Polytechnic University. He has published several scientific papers, including one about the bats of Galápagos and one about the vampire bat of mainland Ecuador.