Isabela and Fernandina Islands

May 29, 2018 - National Geographic Islander


The ocean was as calm at 5:30am as we sailed due west towards the setting moon on the northern part of Isabela Island. We spotted a large pod of common dolphins that allowed our ship to get about a hundred yards close before sprinting into the horizon. These waters are bathed by an upwelling current called Cromwell, and are so rich with life that cormorants stopped flying and evolved into the only flightless cormorants on earth.

After breakfast, we had a ceremony at the bow to celebrate the crossing of the equator into the southern hemisphere. Soon we arrived to Punta Vicente Roca where we went along the shore on zodiacs and snorkeled.

Fernandina Island in the afternoon was equally as rich and we walked among hundreds of black marine iguanas, flightless cormorants and sea lions on Punta Espinosa. When we came back, a wine tasting was waiting for us on the Sky Deck. Another perfect day comes to an end.

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About the Author

Fabian Bucheli

Naturalist

Fabian Bucheli studied at the German School in Quito, graduated from the University of California with a bachelor of science in administration, and earned a master’s degree in international management from Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona. He has studied in Germany, France, Belgium, and Austria and is fluent in German, French, English, and Spanish. He has always been in love with nature and conservation. Explaining abstract concepts became second nature as a teaching assistant in biodiversity and evolution (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) while working towards a PhD in environmental risk management.

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