Fernandina & Isabela

Jun 11, 2018 - National Geographic Endeavour II


Today we sailed to the western part of the Archipelago, Fernandina and Isabela. The newest Islands are strongly influenced by the Cromwell Undercurrent that brings cold nutrient rich waters. Due to this fact we found the largest aggregations of marine iguanas and sea turtles that feed on algae. We also saw flightless cormorants and Galapagos penguins. We found several hatchlings of marine iguanas and witnessed a great blue heron preying upon small marine iguanas.

Later during the day, we snorkeled and saw many sea turtles, penguins, flightless cormorants and marine iguanas feeding underwater. The temperature was very pleasant, 74 degrees Fahrenheit, unusually warm for this part of the Archipelago during this time of the year.

In the afternoon we visited Punta Vicente Roca, a collapse caldera of Volcano Ecuador, one of the 6th volcanos that form Isabela. We saw a manta ray feeding as well as flightless cormorants, Galapagos fur seals and marine iguanas.

At around 17:45 we crossed the equator and celebrated this event with our guest and a friendly group of "pirates". 
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About the Author

Luis Vinueza

Naturalist

Luis arrived in the Galápagos Islands for the first time when he was 11 years old in 1983, and from that time on he knew that Galápagos would one day be his home. He returned to the islands in 1995 and spent 14 months camping in a tent. Seven of those months were spent on Española Island, studying the relationship of reproductive success and mate retention of Nazca boobies. In 1997, he started working for the marine lab at the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) on different fields including diving surveys to assess the patterns of marine biodiversity around the Galápagos Marine Reserve. His research included counting lobsters and sea cucumbers and participating as an advisor for CDRS during the negotiation process that led to the 1998 creation of the Galápagos Marine Reserve. 

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