From the National Geographic Endeavour in Galapagos

Nov 11, 2012 - National Geographic Endeavour

Female sea lion and its pup
Blue footed booby
Espanola Lava Lizard

Gardner Bay and Punta Suarez

The National Geographic Endeavour anchors early in the morning. The sun appears on the horizon, the day is cloudy but warm; it feels good and perfect. The landscape is grey and deserted, dry and inhospitable; but in contrast the water the surrounds this bay is turquoise blue, and the sandy beach along the shore is white and fine, colonized by hundreds of sea lions. The first impression that our travelers get here is marvelous.

It is 7:00 a.m. and breakfast is ready, and then we deliver the snorkeling gear to our guests for the rest of the week. Some of them went to the beach to have fun with several colonies of sea lions. They are so fearless and it is amazing to have them so close to us. You sit down on the beach and contemplate this “movie” right in front of your eyes: how they play, how they talk each other, how they live. Some curious mockingbirds come close to us, and the sea birds fly along the coast in search of fish. Also we experienced the snorkeling, some sea lions played with us and multicolor fish were swimming everywhere. Kayaking was another activity this morning; it is a great exercise and an excellent way to admire the fauna of the island.

Then in the afternoon we moved to Punta Suarez. There are no words to describe such a great place. Before disembarking I said to my travelers, please, be alert, because there are so many animal everywhere that you can easily step on one of them. When we finished our walk one of them said, Christian! You were right; we thought you were kidding about the incredible amount and variety of creatures you can find here.

Yes, this is a place with plenty of wildlife, and many of them are unique to this area, like the waved albatross, the biggest bird on the islands that only lives and nests here. Also lava lizards, tons of marine iguanas, finches, warblers, doves, snakes, frigates, blue and Nazca boobies, tropic birds, sea gulls, hawks, herons, and more. Indeed! It is a place like no other in Galápagos and our guest were astonished.

Sunsets are magical in Galápagos, and today was not the exception. The lights of National Geographic Endeavour turned on at the moment we returned, and one by one our adventurous travelers came in. They were very happy at having a terrific experience; very satisfied at being here, in this paradise where the time seems to go slowly and the energy of our spirits boost up.

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About the Author

Christian Saa

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Christian was born on the island of Isabela in the Galápagos archipelago. He grew up on a farm and had a magical childhood devoid of cars, electricity, telephones—just pure nature and playful sea lions along the beach. At the age of seven, he moved with his family to Santa Cruz Island, the economic hub of the Galápagos Islands. His father began to work in tourism and took Christian around the islands during school vacations. It was during this time that Christian learned to love and understand the real value of this unique archipelago, and he decided to devote his life to its stewardship. A lifelong passion for nature and its creatures took root in his heart, and he eventually decided to become a naturalist, which he has now been doing for 18 years now.

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