Daily Expedition Reports

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Lastest Expedition Reports

  • Ensenada Grande

    Today, the National Geographic Sea Bird visited the northwest side of the Espiritu Santo Island archipelago and anchored at Ensenada Grande, a delightful little cove. We chose two beaches for hikes, snorkeling, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding throughout the morning and afternoon. The northern wind blew moderately strong (as it normally does in winter), but it did not stop us in the exploration of the sea and land. During their long hike our guests and naturalists found two interesting non-poisonous snakes along the dry arroyo, one a widespread species and the other an endemic of this beautiful, pink-colored island. Some big birds, like turkey vultures, frigates and pelicans, were observed taking advantage of the rising thermals. On the beach, a tidal lagoon and mangroves which provide shelter for invertebrates, fishes, and photosynthetic algae, contrasted nicely with the dry vegetation around. In the late afternoon, we finished the day with a wonderful dinner ashore followed by stories around a bonfire about pearls, and the friendship between Steinbeck and Ricketts. And finally, some time to contemplate the sun set behind the impressive and multicolored Sierra de la Giganta.    

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  • Playa Blanca, Osa Peninsula

    We have been traveling from Panama to Costa Rica and along the way, we have experienced the engineering wonder of the Panama Canal and an incredible amount of nature. Today we did something still different: experienced the culture of Costa Rica.

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  • Cuverville Island and Neko Harbour, Antarctica

    The gentle gentoo’s call echoes through our minds. It could be considered the music of the day for it swirled about us on shore morning and afternoon. But now, at the end of the day, maybe what we desire to wrap ourselves in is the sound of silence for only it can express the vastness of the place we find ourselves in.

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  • Santiago Island, Espumilla, Buccaneer Bay & Puerto Egas

    Today we visited Santiago Island, a place where Darwin spent nine days during his visit to the Islands during his voyage on the Beagle. This Island is rich in human history and conservation efforts and was adopted by Lindblad Expeditions in 1997 to support its conservation efforts. As a result of that, goats and pigs have been eliminated from the island, which makes this one of the most successful restoration efforts around the world.

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  • Antarctic Circle and Skogg Bay

    National Geographic Explorer awoke with eager anticipation; for many had come to the White Continent in anticipation of reaching the landmark of the Antarctic Circle, and upon waking, it was within but a few nautical miles of being reached. To add to the myth of the moment, a dense fog obscured visibility, allowing building-sized icebergs to appear out of the ether to greet us for a moment before they disappeared back into the haze. Crossing the line, a cheer went out on the Bridge, as our guests celebrated a new milestone. The rest of the morning was filled with informative talks on Shackleton and the Cryosphere by our talented natural history staff. In the afternoon, we took to Zodiacs to weave the monoliths of ice in Skogg Bay, named after our legendary captain currently navigating the vessel. As the wind picked up, the ice pushed in and the expedition truly took form, as our pathway back to the ship was blocked and new pathways had to be formed. Another fine day in one of the finest places on our spinning planet.

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  • Santa Cruz Island

    The island is the second largest in the Galapagos archipelago, with a surface area of almost 100 square kilometers, and a population estimated in 20,000 people.

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  • Santiago Island

    On Wednesday, we woke up as we reached the shores of Santiago Island. This is where Darwin expended most of his time in the Galapagos. Nine days camping, with the sky for a roof and the ground for a table.

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  • Urbina Bay and Tagus Cove

    This day was spent at the largest island of the Galapagos archipelago, Isabela Island. In the morning the National Geographic Islander was anchored at Urbina bay where the waters were calm and clear. As the Zodiacs approached we observed Pacific green sea turtles and resting nicely on the bottom of the black sand were several diamond sting rays. The long hike took us along the rocky coast, a great place for Sally light foot crabs, huge male marine iguanas, and flightless cormorants! We then headed inland to observe the giant coral heads, proof that the whole area had been underwater. The area was uplifted in the 50’s and since then vegetation has covered this location and now it is a perfect site for Galapagos land iguanas. We observed a female land iguana right on the trail and underneath the poison apple trees we found several male land iguanas. We arrived to the black sandy beach, where there was time for a good swim and a group of fearless guests even swam back to the ship!

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  • At Sea & Half Moon Island

    As we awoke to another morning in a rolling Drake Passage, seabirds continued to swoop in and out of the immense fog. To help familiarize guests with identification, Naturalist Ciaran Cronin gave an informative presentation about the Seabirds of Antarctica, including a few that we had seen already from the Beagle Channel too.

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  • Rio Tigre & Casa Orquideas

    This morning we woke up in Costa Rica docked at the old rusty pier of the little port of Golfito!

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Please note: Daily Expedition Reports (DER’s) are posted Monday-Friday only, during normal business hours.

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