Fernandina and Punta Vicente Roca

Jul 22, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II


Today we woke up anchored at Fernandina Island, navigating through Volcano Avenue during sunrise. We had a long navigation during nighttime to arrive to the western site of the archipelago; here on this area is where the Galapagos hotspot is located, the volcanoes are active, erupting almost every single year. Fernandina is the youngest island, estimated to be less than one million years old.

Today during our morning walk we were able to witness how the islands look when everything starts. We saw the very popular flightless cormorants, which are the only flightless cormorants in the world, and you can only find them here. We saw huge marine iguanas (almost 30 pounds), sea lions and lots of sea turtles. This area is impacted by the Cromwell Current, which is an underwater current that hits the Galapagos plateau, creating a rich upwelling bringing up all these nutrients, resulting in the highest percentage of endemism in this site. After our walk we had an amazing snorkeling excursion, where we saw the marine iguanas and the sea turtles feeding on algae!!

After a delicious lunch, one of our naturalists gave a great talk about oceanography in the lounge. Our guests learned about all of the currents that influence the Galapagos marine reserve, making it so special. Galapagos is a place where cold currents and warm currents come together, finding species that we can’t find anywhere else in the world. After the talk, off we went to our next adventure, a costal exploration on the zodiac at Punta Vicente Roca. Here we saw the very famous Galapagos fur seal, many marine iguanas, Nazca boobies, manta rays, blue-footed boobies and of course, we could not finish our daily exploration without spotting the Galapagos penguin! We came back on board and started navigating to cross the equatorial line, with a delicious wine tasting and a show that was set up by our younger explorers. What an amazing day we had here in the west!

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About the Author

Roberta Schiess

Naturalist

Born and raised in the Galápagos, Roberta Schiess Bahamonde’s grandparents were among the first permanent inhabitants of Santa Cruz Island, arriving from Switzerland in the 1940s. Her mother is also a naturalist guide in the Galápagos, so this is a profession she has been exposed to her whole life, and she often accompanied her mom as she guided visitors. 

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