Española Island

Jul 15, 2018 - National Geographic Endeavour II


Today we experienced a new environment full of surprises as we explore Española Island. Turquoise waters surrounded us as we entered the water to experience this undersea world. Young Galapagos sea lions swam among us, blowing bubbles and grabbing our fins in their mouths, showing us how to properly play in this setting. Large schools of razor surgeonfish swam below us, with marbled stingrays tucked in among the rocks with brightly colored cup coral covering the rocky substrate. 

Landing on the fine white sandy beach allowed us to encounter sea lions in their territorial ecosystem with the occasional Española mockingbird flitting about, even landing on beach goers. In the afternoon, we continued with our exploration inland, meeting endemic waved albatross, Darwin finches, Nazca boobies, red-billed tropicbirds as we maneuver over the broken volcanic terrain. As the sun set between the grey clouds, we were completely content in this little world.

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About the Author

Jason Heilmann

Expedition Leader

Growing up in northern California, Jason was surrounded by the incomparable nature of the Pacific Northwest. While attending university there, Jason met and eventually married an Ecuadorian woman who happened to be from a small group of islands off the coast of western South America. It was thus that Jason’s path led him to Ecuador and, in time, to one of the most revered natural environments on earth, the Galápagos Islands.

About the Videographer

David Barnes

Expedition Leader

David studied history at the University of York in England and theology at the University of Wales.  Research in the field of religious history (at Cardiff) followed on naturally.  He has spent most of his professional life teaching history, most recently in adult education departments within the University of Wales where he has taught a wide variety of courses pertinent to the wider Atlantic world.  In 1988, he made his first lecture-tour of the U.S. for the English Speaking Union. He has published extensively on Welsh history and topography–his most recent book being the Companion Guide to Wales (2005)–and is a frequent contributor of articles and reviews to Welsh cultural and literary journals.  In the1990s, David was active in the field of international education, traveling worldwide and spending a year in the U.S. (in Atlanta and New York City).  He speaks English and French in addition to his native Welsh.

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