Cerro Dragon, Guy Fawkes & Daphne Major

Jul 18, 2018 - National Geographic Endeavour II


Today we anchored at Dragon Hill, located in the northwestern region of Santa Cruz Island. During the morning, we walked along Dragon Hill and observed a beautiful landscape with dunes covered by a carpet of succulent sea purslane. On the opposite side of the dune is a brackish water lagoon that is home to several species of coastal birds. Today we saw white-cheeked pintail ducks, black-necked stilts, and further along the path we found a few land iguanas. 

Later in the morning we drove our Zodiacs to Guy Fawkes for deep water snorkeling. The conditions were challenging due to strong currents, but we were able to snorkel along a vertical wall with many colorful sessile invertebrates and tropical fish. 

After a delicious Ecuadorian meal, we offered Zodiac driving lessons to all of the children onboard, our Young Explorers! Finally, at sunset we sailed around Daphne Mayor, a very important island for the study of evolution of Darwin Finches. We learned about Peter and Rosemary Grant and the work they have been conducting there more than forty years.

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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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