From the National Geographic Endeavour in Galapagos
Jan 14, 2013 - National Geographic Endeavour
Early today we explored the island of Fernandina in the western area of Galapagos. This island is the youngest in the archipelago and the most pristine. We landed on a lava flow that serves as a “wrestling arena” for the fights amongst the male marine iguanas. This is the breeding season and marine iguanas are fiercely defending their small portion of lava or beach. As their breeding season ends, the females will become aggressive and will go to the beach where their eggs will be deposited under the sand. The sun will incubate the iguana’s eggs for a few months and the youngsters that emerge will be on their own, as the mothers do not look after their offspring. We saw some juveniles that were born last year and they looked busy feeding on the algae exposed by the low tide.
Once everyone returned aboard we went snorkeling from the Zodiacs in deep waters. There was a good variety of fish and some guests also observed green sea turtles in the area.
This afternoon we sailed to the northwestern side of Isabela Island to a place known as Punta Vicente Roca. We went on a Zodiac ride and had the chance to observe Galapagos penguins, Galapagos fur seals, sea turtles, flightless cormorants and the very rare ocean sun fish. After this ride we sailed again towards the Equator and crossed the line as the sun began to set.