Bartholomew and Chinese Hat

Oct 10, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II


We disembarked on a pre-breakfast outing to hike on Bartholomew Island. The hike consists on an uphill stairway to the summit of the island. Along the way we learned about the geology of the place, featuring some spatter cones and collapsed lava tubes. Some of the species of flora here are pioneers and all highly adapted to the area’s drier climate.

Bartholomew Island is an open book of geology and showcases the process of pioneer succession in which life is established for the first time on a new terrain. Once on the top of of the island and the end of the staircase, when were able to see one of the most breathtaking landscapes of the Galapagos, showing pinnacle rock with north and south beach on the sides and a patch of green mangroves in between.

After the hike we came back to National Geographic Endeavour ll to suit up for snorkeling. We had the opportunity to swim and snorkel at the beach as well as in deeper water. Several Galapagos penguins were spotted, as were sea lions, a couple of diamond sting rays, and a large variety of fish.

After lunch our mother ship repositioned to a different visitor site called Champion Islet. We went deep-water snorkeling along a small channel in between Chinese Hat and young lava flows of Santiago island. Several species of fish were spotted, a couple of white-tipped reef sharks, and one Pacific green sea turtle. After snorkeling we had the opportunity to go on a Zodiac ride and photograph Galapagos penguins perched on the black lava fields.

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About the Author

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.

About the Photographer

Clifflying Bromling

Clifflying Bromling

About the Videographer

Andres Cruz

Video Chronicler

Andrés grew up in Floreana, an island with 150 inhabitants in the Galápagos Archipelago. Living without internet, television or cellphones encourages him to become a creative observer and a nature lover. He spent most of his childhood interacting with giant tortoises, lizards, penguins, finches and other creatures while exploring his surroundings.

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