North Seymour & Rabida Islands

Sep 16, 2018 - National Geographic Endeavour II


A grey sky looms overhead as we awaken off North Seymour Island in the central part of the archipelago. We float upon turquoise water as we start to move towards a landing, and the blue sky starts to appear overhead. Boulders underfoot as we pass through a dry environment. We find male frigate birds with inflated gular sacs trying to find mates, blue footed booby chicks awaiting food and land iguanas starting to move to the shade as the sun heats the land.

The afternoon presents us with Rabida Island and the dark red lava formation that is the island. As we investigate the surrounding seas, we find playful sea lions, white tipped reef sharks, sea turtles, and a plethora of fish. The glow of the late afternoon blankets the beach area in warm light. After our hike, we encounter sea lions returning to the beach to rest. A successful day for all as we start to understand the diversity of life in this “little world upon itself.”

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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.

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