Isabela & Fernandina Islands

May 01, 2018 - National Geographic Islander


The ocean was as calm as I’ve ever seen it. We sailed a good distance along the northern shoreline of Isabela before breaking into a fogbank–cooler waters! But they were no deterrent to intrepid snorkelers. The western region of Galápagos is subject to strong upwelling ocean currents coming in from the west—an undercurrent as well as countercurrent. The richness it creates was evident as soon as we approached shore. Flightless cormorants, large marine iguanas, Galápagos fur seals, sea lions, ocean sunfish, Galápagos penguins! A menagerie of wildlife.

Fernandina Island in the afternoon was equally as rich—although to see it from a distance is to wonder since the lava coastline appears foreboding and stark. On shore, hundreds of marine iguanas blended with irregular lava—their comical snorting giving them away!

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About the Author

Cindy Manning

Expedition Leader

Born in Lima, Peru, of North American parents, Cindy and her family subsequently lived in several South American and European countries with a couple stops in Peoria, Illinois. Cindy received a degree in biology from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. Afterwards, Cindy spent a year and a half teaching science in the Western Province of Kenya, East Africa. 

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