Dec 02, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II

This morning we woke up anchored at Punta Cormorant, on the island of Florena. We started our morning with an early wakeup call at 6 a.m., and we had two hiking options: a photo walk and a natural history walk. We landed at Punta Cormorant, a semiprecious stone beach made out of pulverized peridotite—very shiny, interesting and beautiful sand. From the shore we spotted several Pacific green sea turtles who might have been nesting at the beach during night. This turtle is the most common one to been seen in the islands. Flamingos were definitely the highlight of our early walk; we spotted more than 50 flamingos at the brackish lagoon. The flamingos in the Galapagos are an endemic sub-species of the American flamingo, with a very little population in the island of only about 500 individuals. They were as close as they could be in this area, and they were a beautiful subject to photograph. We spotted several colorful males and even a parent feeding its baby. Blue-footed Boobies were a great part of our morning as well.

After the early walk, we came back onboard and enjoyed a delicious breakfast. Afterwards we jumped into the Zodiacs for a fun ride around Champion Islet, looking for the endemic Florena mockingbird, which is unique to this island. We saw many sea lions and different species of marine birds as well. Later on, we got ready for our water activities, some guests decided to go snorkeling and others choose the glass-bottom boat—we call it the dry snorkeling, it is very fun!

In the afternoon during lunchtime, we had a short navigation all the way to Post Office Bay (still in Florena Island). We visited the popular barrel that was placed here more than 200 years ago by whalers to keep communication with their love ones back home. We encourage our guests to be part of the tradition, picking up letters left by other visitors to hand deliver, if they were addressed close to where they live. They also had the chance to put some letters in the barrel and continue with this fun activity. What a great day we had in the island.

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About the Author

Roberta Schiess


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. 

About the Photographer

Santiago Imberti


An ornithologist, photographer, fisherman, climber, and writer, Santiago Imberti was born and raised in southern Patagonia, Argentina. He obtained a degree in tourism and later in ornithology, which allowed him to combine his love for nature and the outdoors with his work as a birdwatcher, naturalist, fly fishing, and mountain guide. He has been guiding trips in Patagonia, the Antarctic, and Arctic for some 25 years.

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