Mar 25, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Lion
Our day started off with an early morning sunrise expedition landing craft cruise around Los Islotes, a small island cluster of volcanic rock that is part of the Espiritu Santo Archipelago National Park. As we cruised around the islets, the rising sun behind us cast an orange glow onto the stony surface and sea lions barked at us from their rocky perch.
After breakfast we revisited Los Islotes, this time to get in the water with a cluster of California sea lions who use the islets as a haul out. Many of the younger male sea lions were curious about these strange-looking snorkelers and performed water acrobatics around us as they swam in close to check us out. Some even blew bubbles into our snorkel masks. The islets are also home to a plethora of fish and we spotted several varieties including parrot fish, coronet fish, damelsfish, and puffer fish.
But we weren’t done with Los Islotes yet. Our last outing at these islets was one final leisurely expedition landing craft cruise around the rocky pillars.
In the afternoon, our destination was Isla San Francisco which is home to a beautiful long white sand beach in a perfect half-moon bay. Several yachts and sailboats were anchored in the harbor as we motored up and several more sailed in throughout the afternoon. Activities for the island included a hike up to a ridge for a great lookout over the bay, a guided tour of the tide pools, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and of course just relaxing on the beach.
Dinner was served ashore in the evening—an excellent barbeque buffet—and a bonfire kept us warm after the sun had set. After dinner, the photographers set out to practice light painting and star photography and then it was back to the ship for a good night’s sleep after a long but fantastic day.
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