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Daily Expedition Reports

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Lastest Expedition Reports

Granite Cove & Fox Creek, George Island

Soon after we awoke, the National Geographic Sea Lion set anchor at Granite Cove on George Island. We started off the morning with stretches on the deck and Eggs Benedict, and then headed out to explore.   Some chose to kayak around the island, exploring each cove, point and wash rock. Read More>

Jun 25, 2015 National Geographic Sea Lion in Alaska

Glacier Bay

Glacier Bay is an iconic destination, a keystone of Alaska’s natural history. The entire ecosystem is so pristine, wild, and unspoiled that it was declared a National Park in 1980. Carved thousands of years ago by ice thousands of feet thick, glaciers moved like slow-motion juggernauts, pulverizing everything in their path, leaving the Earth’s crust deeply cleaved. As recently as 1750, the entire bay was filled with glacial ice. Since that time, the ice has receded and the ocean has filled the fjords, creating a bay that appears designed by nature to explore by small ship.   The National Geographic Sea Bird’s guests enjoyed a quiet night as the ship was tied up at the National Park Service docks in Bartlett Cove. Read More>

Jun 25, 2015 National Geographic Sea Bird in Alaska

At Sea, From Wyndham to Com

In the 16th century, Francis Bacon said “knowledge is power,” and as I get older (and hopefully wiser) that statement starts to hold real value. It’s also timely as we have just been travelling through the Kimberley, where the indigenous people place great importance on knowledge. An indigenous woman once told me that her people didn’t value “objects or things,” but believed the greatest gift to be knowledge. Something that is not given lightly and is cherished when it is received. After all, knowledge has kept their people alive for thousands of years!  As we travel from Wyndham to Com in Timor, there will be many opportunities to share knowledge. Read More>

Jun 25, 2015 National Geographic Orion in Pacific Islands & Australia

South Plaza and Santa Fe Islands

We are in the central part of the Galápagos Archipelago. It has been a beautiful trip so far and we are having fun learning and discovering a number of new things! Early this morning we anchored near South Plaza Island. Read More>

Jun 25, 2015 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

Bartolome and Sombrero Chino Islands

The expedition continues, it is our sixth day exploring the Galápagos national park and yet every day on every island has been a completely new experience! Early in the morning, at sunrise, we went for a brisk walk to the top of Bartolomé Island, which has a marvelous ecosystem and a spectacular view. Read More>

Jun 25, 2015 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Sitkoh Bay, Chichagof Island

Today we explored two sights along Chatham Strait, Pond Island and Sitkoh Bay. The morning was dedicated to water sports while the afternoon was a chance to hike to our heart’s content along a logging road and see how the forest grows back after industrialized logging has taken place.    Pond Island is a small island in Kelp Bay. Read More>

Jun 24, 2015 National Geographic Sea Lion in Alaska

Santa Cruz Island

We had a wonderfully calm navigation during the wee hours of the morning and found ourselves anchored by dawn in Academy Bay, off Santa Cruz Island. The town of Puerto Ayora is home for 20,000 Ecuadorian and International inhabitants and is also the headquarters of both the Galapagos National Park Service and the Charles Darwin Research Station. This morning, after a delicious breakfast of eggs benedict, we disembarked on the main town dock and took buses to the entrance to the Park and Station. We walked a half mile to visit the giant tortoise captive breeding center. Here we saw dozens of cute baby tortoises and learned of the successful repatriation of the endangered species of tortoises to the islands of their origin. Eggs are incubated here, and the hatchlings are cared for until they are old enough to be returned to the wild. We saw Super Diego – a very amorous male tortoise that was returned to Galapagos from the San Diego Zoo in the mid 70’s when the scientists realized that he was from the nearly extinct population of Española tortoises. From a low of 15 adult Española tortoises we now have over 2000 tortoises in the wild on that island again!  We walked through town, shopping in the numerous colorful boutiques, and enjoyed the fish market where pelicans and a fat sea lion grabbed the fish scraps and posed for our cameras. Read More>

Jun 24, 2015 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

Inian Islands & George Island

Wednesday morning, June 24th aboard National Geographic Sea Bird guests awoke to a bright clear day. The ship was anchored at the Inian Islands, an archipelago with a direct opening to the Pacific Ocean. This special place allows rich flow in from the open ocean to these more protected areas, where marine animals can feed on the organisms the water houses. Though the region had been long inhabited by the Tlingit tribe of Southeast Alaska, the first time Europeans caught sight of the area was in the 1700s, on an exploratory journey from Russia led by the Danish navigator Vitus Bering. Bering’s expedition was successful in finding land, but not in stepping foot on it. Read More>

Jun 24, 2015 National Geographic Sea Bird in Alaska

Wyndham – the Bungle Bungles and the Ord River

The National Geographic Orion pulled alongside the wharf in Wyndham in the early hours of the morning, and everyone enjoyed breakfast early in anticipation of a big day. Three options were being offered, with flights over the Bungle Bungles, a more wildlife-oriented cruise along the Ord River, and tours of the bustling metropolis of Wyndham being on offer. Those on the Ord River cruise boarded a bus and we headed towards Kununurra, trailing through the arid countryside of the Kimberley Coast. Read More>

Jun 24, 2015 National Geographic Orion in Pacific Islands & Australia

Santa Cruz & Isabela Island

We begin today’s expedition at the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island. Our previous exploration of the highlands of Santa Cruz from the southern coast revealed lush and green landscapes, however now we are faced with arid land and a forest of white Palo Santo trees, which are found in the rain shadow of Santa Cruz Island. Dragon Hill or “Cerro-Dragon” has had some success in terms of conservation, as various institutions have been able to protect and repopulate the population of land iguanas in this area. On this unique island, we encounter interesting landscapes as a result of three different ecologies: the coastal region, a brackish lagoon and the Palo Santo forest with Opuntia prickly pear cacti.   We are able to watch as four greater flamingoes slowly feed in the shallows, as black-necked stilts follow behind. Read More>

Jun 24, 2015 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

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