Feb 06, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II
Our days in the Enchanted Islands, as the Spanish once called them, keep bringing us adventures. Today we started early and while some went kayaking, others took a morning walk along Espumilla Beach, on the north side of Santiago. It was 6:30 a.m. and we were seeing a sea turtle going down to the shore after hours of nesting in the sandy dunes. Pelicans, ghost crabs, and mockingbirds were amongst the usual suspects. But not everything was perfect -- it was a bit unusual in this pristine place, miles away from civilization, but we also found some plastic on the beach, brought in by the swells from the mainland. Naturalists and guides helped to pick up a whole bag’s worth! It was rewarding to do something for these islands that are giving us so much joy during our days here.
After breakfast the aquatic activities continued; kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling and riding in the glass bottom boat gave us the chance to explore more of the sea life. By lunchtime everyone had checked ‘white tip reef sharks’ off of their wildlife checklists.
Our chefs prepared a Mexican lunch for us, and ay caramaba! It was delicious! To rest a bit, Celso, our photo instructor, gave a talk on how to take pictures with iPhones and everyone learned new skills and settings of their devices. Paul, one of our naturalists, gave a lecture on Charles Darwin. Very appropriate, since we are spending the day on the island that Darwin stayed for most of his time in the Galapagos. In the afternoon we moved to Puerto Egas for a walk along tidal pools with the sea lions and marine iguanas and a playful Galapagos flycatcher was great for photography and natural history. Other guests had the chance to swim and snorkel from the beach with curious sea lions coming our way.
But the day was not over, we gathered in the lounge to see some footage of the underwater world and hear about tomorrow’s program. After that, a BBQ dinner on the sun deck and a musical show led by our talented Captain Neira was the perfect way to end another magical day in the Galapagos.
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