Nov 12, 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, and are volcanically pretty active, with recent volcanic eruptions in 2017 and 2018. This morning we witnessed smoke coming out of Volcano las Cumbres on Fernandina Island.
Due to the productive waters of the west, we also observed large aggregations of marine iguanas and sea turtles that feed on marine algae. We also saw flightless cormorants, one of the unique species that inhabit this region, one of which came on board one of our inflatables Zodiacs—it was quite a moment! Male marine iguanas are starting to show their mating behavior—they will establish territories and will fight other males that dare to trespass.
Later during the day, we enjoyed excellent snorkeling conditions to explored the marine world. We saw many sea turtles, flightless cormorants and marine iguanas feeding underwater. The temperature was very pleasant, 69 degrees Fahrenheit. In the afternoon we visited Punta Vicente Roca, a collapsed caldera of Ecuador Volcano, and one of the six volcanos that form Isabela.
After a full and exciting day of exploration and discovery, we enjoyed a celebration with our guests on the top deck of National Geographic Endeavour II as we crossed the equator.
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