Isabela Island

Sep 04, 2019 - National Geographic Islander

This morning we had both long and short hike options, and in addition, a photo hike with Jonathan. Everyone had delightful outings and got wonderful photos of large colorful land iguanas, giant tortoises of varying sizes, finches, mockingbirds, and yellow warblers. It was a cool, mostly cloudy day, but with some sun the weather was perfect. After the hikes some of us swam with feeding pelicans and a fast-moving penguin before returning to the ship.

As we left Urbina Bay, we spotted whale spouts – again! To our amazement we soon observed at least eight Bryde’s whales, a blue whale and a humpback. Captain Cifuentes nimbly maneuvered National Geographic Islander from whale to whale, and we got some very good looks at them as they were diving to feed and resurfacing for air. It is extremely unusual to find three whale species all feeding together, as we did today!

In the afternoon, we kayaked, snorkeled, hiked and explored via Zodiac at Tagus Cove. Penguins, both darting around us in the water and resting on shore were a highlight for many of us! The golden afternoon light on the barren palo santo trees, the view of Darwin Crater Lake, and the majestic slopes of the volcanoes on northern Isabela were landscape scenes that the hikers will long recall. There is a purity and a peacefulness here – and spectacularly clean air, too! – which is very unique. We are all enjoying ourselves immensely this week in the Galapagos.

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About the Author

Lynn Fowler

Expedition Leader

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, and one of seven children, Lynn grew up in various university towns where her father was a professor of physics. Lynn obtained her B.A. in biology from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, followed by a master’s degree in zoology from the University of Florida, which encompassed a study of marine turtles in Costa Rica. She arrived in Galápagos in 1978 and became one of the first female naturalist guides working for the Galápagos National Park.

About the Photographer

Jonathan Aguas

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Jonathan was born into one of only a handful of families that reaches back five generations in Galápagos, in the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, on San Cristobal Island. He first left the islands when he won a highly-coveted scholarship to finish his studies in the U.S.  This was the start of his life-long passion for science and languages. He earned a bachelor’s degree in integrative biology from the University of Florida and later spent time in Europe, where he learned French. He is now fluent in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

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