Santiago Island

Sep 04, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II


After an all-night navigation from one hemisphere to the other, we found ourselves in a different world again. We had repositioned our ship to our next visitor’s site, Buccaneer’s Cove in Santiago Island.

The morning was very active with snorkeling, where some of our snorkelers many varieties of fish and a few sea lions. We also offered many more water activities like kayaking, Zodiac riding along the shore, and paddle-boarding. At this site, geological formations, like the praying monk, captured our attention. In addition, if that was not enough, we had a few rounds of glass-bottom boat outings, a fabulous tool that allows us to have a clear view of the fish without having to get wet.

Today, on our way back and after finishing our activities, we were impressed by a baby humpback whale constantly breaching next to at least one adult whale, most likely its mother. We immediately got close enough for our viewing, safe and comfortable enough for the happy baby whale. We too were very happy, to say the least, as our guests were shouting with joy and excitement. What a way to start the day.

Afterwards, we enjoyed a well-deserved lunch and a talk about human history, presented by me, setting a perspective of mankind taking responsibility, as we wake up to the importance of conservation and protection of our environments.

Soon after, we were disembarking in Egas Port, where we had a black beach for ourselves to swim, relax, and snorkel. To end the outings of the day, a walk around the shore and intertidal pools of Santiago with sittings of marine iguanas, sea lions, shore birds, and Galapagos fur seals.

After cocktail hour and recap, we enjoyed a barbeque in the upper deck for dinner, followed by our performers’ musical presentation. Our expedition has reached its peak, and now we are experiencing this wonderful feeling of coexistence and respect for one another, like a family.

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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.

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