Fernandina & Isabela Islands

Dec 10, 2018 - National Geographic Endeavour II

A drastic contrast is encountered as we awaken close to Fernandina Island in the western realm of the archipelago. A deep blue sky is a backdrop for the massive volcano La Cumbre, which is the shield volcano of Fernandina. This barren island is home to one of the largest populations of marine iguanas in Galapagos. Marine iguanas slowly make their way to the water to feed as they warm up and become active. Young sea lion pups play in the shallows and a Galapagos hawk soars just over our heads. Galapagos penguins flit about along the coast as Pacific green sea turtles feed in the tidal pools. This “barren” island is vibrantly alive with activity! Afternoon arrives along with our navigation to northern Isabela. Flightless cormorants and Galapagos penguins are found along the coast of Punta Vicente Roca as we explore. A massive cliff is before us showing this area’s violent volcanic past as we eventually bring our Zodiacs aboard and head north, crossing the Equatorial line as the sun finishes its duty of the day and sets.

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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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