Santa Cruz Island, Guy Fawkes and Eden Islets

Jul 03, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II


Guests onboard National Geographic Endeavour II spent the day exploring Santa Cruz Island and its neighboring islets: Guy Fawkes and Eden. We began with an early morning hike at Dragon Hill. Here we found a variety of interestingly adapted lowland plants and lagoon birds. We spent most of our time, however, looking for the animal this site is named after- the Galapagos land iguana. We observed two males fighting over territory, a unique sighting for guests and naturalists alike. We also caught a glimpse of a large male land iguana digging a new den.

After our visit to Dragon Hill, we snorkeled at Guy Fawkes Islet. Due to its steep shelf and deep waters, this is a prime location for observing pelagic species like tuna and bonito. We also spotted a Galapagos shark. After our snorkeling excursion we returned to the ship for a delicious Ecuadorian lunch, and guests learned about Ecuadorian cuisine and culture. Later in the afternoon, young explorers received Zodiac driving lessons from our naturalists, while others kayaked around Eden Islet. Some guests chose to take a Zodiac cruise around Eden and the northern side of Santa Cruz Island where they observed many juvenile blacktip reef sharks.

At sunset, we enjoyed a lovely wine tasting session on the observation deck as we circumnavigated Daphne Major, and learned about the interesting research that has been going on there for decades. Younger explorers spent the evening with their friends eating pizza and watching a movie in the ship’s lounge.

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About the Author

Alexandra Widman

Naturalist

Alexandra grew up on the southeast coast of the United States. She has a deep love for the ocean that stems from her childhood spent surfing, kayaking, diving and fishing on the Intracoastal Waterway. Alexandra has lived on San Cristóbal Island for the past 6 years, having fallen in love with Galápagos the moment she arrived as a fledgling marine ecologist. She holds a bachelor’s degree in marine biology and a master’s in environmental science and management from the University of California Santa Barbara.

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