Santiago Island

Apr 17, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II


We began our day with an optional early photography walk to explore Espumilla. It was quiet and calm during this outing, and we saw baby turtles and tracks left behind from last night. We had an opportunity to use our gear with different settings, and even our iPhones were very useful tools for photography. As a matter of fact, all the pictures in this report were taken with smart phones.

We repositioned our ship to our next visitor site Buccaneer’s Cove, where we had a very active morning full of water activities. Some of our guests went snorkeling, and encountered many sharks, sea lions and fish, while others explored above the water in kayaks or on paddle-boards. Geological formations along the coastline, like the praying monk, captured our attention. In addition, we offered a few rounds of outings aboard our glass-bottom boat, a fabulous tool that allowed us to have a clear view of the fish without getting wet. An impressive highlight was to see dolphins and even orca whales. We were all very excited.

After a well-deserved lunch and a talk on Charles Darwin with our naturalist Lucho, we enjoyed some relaxation onboard the ship before disembarking in Egas Port, where we enjoyed swimming, relaxing, or snorkeling from the black sand beach. To end the outings of the day, we went for a walk around the shore and intertidal pools of Santiago, with sightings of marine iguanas, sea lions, shore birds, and Galapagos fur seals.

After cocktail hour and recap, we had a delicious barbeque in the upper deck for dinner, followed by our captain’s musical performance. Our expedition has reached its peak, and we have developed a wonderful feeling of coexistence and respect for one another, and for our environment.

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About the Author

Celso Montalvo

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Celso was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador. At the age of nine he arrived in the Galápagos for the first time and he was profoundly touched by nature, observation, and isolation.  When he saw the sharks, rays and turtles swimming in the bay, he was triggered by a sense of wonder that he did not feel before.  Celso believes education is key to preservation. After graduating from the Naval Academy at the age of 17 he moved to New York to continue his education.

About the Videographer

Matthew Ritenour

Video Chronicler

Matthew grew up on the Gulf of Mexico, where a love of geography, culture and history were instilled at a young age. He studied anthropology at California State University, Chico, and soon began working at the Advanced Laboratory for Visual Anthropology (ALVA), a documentary production studio that focuses on sharing the results of anthropological research with the public. As a cinematographer and editor at ALVA, he documented research on everything from the effects of drought in California, to looted petroglyphs in the Sierra Nevada high desert, and the global trade in emeralds.

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