Bartolomé and Sombrero Chino Islands

Mar 01, 2018 - National Geographic Endeavour II

Early in the morning we woke up at the central part of the archipelago. We are now located at a very small and very famous island. Bartolomé has the world famous pinnacle rock seen by many for it has been published on many books and filmed for many documentaries worldwide. We call it “our open book of geology” a misfit island for it has no Palo Santo forest and yet after at 2.5 million years we believed Bartolomé should be full of endemic biota. It’s wonderful seen Mother Nature keeping secrets and as a result we could admire geological features first hand. We were beginning our journey to reach 315 feet in altitude walking about 372 wooden steps; suddenly one of our guests Jeffrey spotted a spout at the distance. Immediately we called the Zodiac so we could reach see them a closer distance

Back onboard we had our breakfast and went for our water activities, some of us went snorkeling, others boarded our glass bottom boat and some just took a towel and lay on the sand for more relaxation.

As we repositioned our ship while we passed next to a chain of volcanoes. Meanwhile our naturalist Salvador Cazar makes his presentation about Charles Darwin and the Galapagos Islands.

Next is snorkeling at Sombrero Chino. Here we have an impressive underwater landscape where black lava meets the white sand. Great visibility and many more species like, sharks, rays, penguins and of course fish and fishes (the plural of different species). Soon after a Zodiac ride along the shore lines of James Islands searching for Galapagos penguins and back for a Barbeque dinner. Today I’m paying tribute to the ship with our pictures, our lives onboard.

Later at night, it was time to reminisce about the many experiences of such a wonderful day. As we look back and gaze at these islands for the last time understanding tomorrow will be our last full day, this place now seems to be timeless to us. It is now deep within our hearts and our experience has been unforgettable, a place where wildlife that has no fear and allows us to realize that we are not so different after all.

And so, my deep thought:

“We must not acknowledge the methodical saying ‘don’t humanize the animals’ but instead ‘animalize the human’ by perceiving our surrounding with all our senses; embracing nature by coexistence and respect for one another, so we can become one with nature as we once were.

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About the Author

Celso Montalvo

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Celso was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador. At the age of nine he arrived in the Galápagos for the first time and he was profoundly touched by nature, observation, and isolation.  When he saw the sharks, rays and turtles swimming in the bay, he was triggered by a sense of wonder that he did not feel before.  Celso believes education is key to preservation. After graduating from the Naval Academy at the age of 17 he moved to New York to continue his education.

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