Bartolome & Chinese Hat, 8/12/2021, National Geographic Endeavour II
National Geographic Endeavour II
Today we woke up just before sunrise. We started the activities with a pre breakfast hike all the way up to the top of Bartolome Island to see one of the most iconic views of the Galapagos Islands. After a warm breakfast, we headed to a beautiful beach where we spotted some Galapagos penguins. Then it was time to start our first snorkeling of the day with clear waters, many fish, and the sandy bottom full of sea stars that made us feel like we were living a dream.
National Geographic Endeavour II moved to a new location during lunch, called Chinese Hat. Here we had our third opportunity of the day to get in the water. This time, the Galapagos penguins were so playful in the water with us; we will all remember this moment for the rest of our lives.
Ixora was born in the Galapagos Islands, back when the streets were made of sand and gravel. Void of TV and tablets, her childhood friends and pristine natural surroundings made for an inspiring upbringing. She was always drawn to the ocean and her l...
We are experiencing an unusual rainy season in the Galapagos. We woke up to a beautiful blue sky at Urbina Bay with clear views of volcanos surrounding our ship. By 8:00 a.m., we were ready to explore Urbina Bay. The bay was underwater until 1954 when the powers of nature pushed the area up almost 20 feet. Over time, the area became the home and nesting grounds of many species, including land iguanas. The largest tortoise on Earth is found here near Alcedo Volcano. We made a wet landing. As soon as we disembarked, we observed a prehistoric creature basking on the beach, one of the well-known dragons of the Galapagos Islands. The black marine iguanas are the only seafaring lizards. Along the trail, we found yellow iguanas, or land iguanas. These iguanas do not swim and spend 99% of their time looking for food on the ground. We also observed giant tortoises and nesting mockingbirds. It was a hot day, and we enjoyed a little dip in the water to end our successful morning. We had a very busy afternoon with kayaking, paddleboarding, and snorkeling in Tagus Cove. We ended the day with a great hike and a dinghy ride during a magnificent sunset.
As we cruised around the islands, we observed the shapes of shield volcanos from the ship. The interesting landscape is very characteristic of the western islands, the youngest in the archipelago. The early morning outing to Punta Espinoza is always one of the highlights of this expedition. The site is such a pristine paradise in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It is interesting and full of life. When we visit, we are very careful where we step. Marine iguanas bask in the sun to thermoregulate their body heat so they can survive in this tropical environment. After our hikes, we prepared for deep water snorkeling. The conditions were great, and the bay was full of wildlife, including green sea turtles, marine iguanas feeding underwater, playful Galapagos sea lions, different schools of fish, flightless cormorants deep diving, and even Galapagos penguins passing by to look for food. Back on board, we had a Mexican lunch with delicious margaritas. We enjoyed a spoon made of white chocolate for dessert! Lunch was followed by more outings, including Zodiac tours along the coast of Punta Vicente Roca. We observed the volcanic landscape and the amazing wildlife that is abundant due to the upwelling of the Cromwell, which provides nutrients to these rich waters. Back on board, we were invited to a wine tasting event. We cruised by the collapsed caldera of Volcan Ecuador and crossed the equator. We celebrated with a visit by some local pirates who created a great atmosphere. We enjoyed Latin music as we celebrated a wonderful day during a gorgeous sunset on the observation deck.
During our first full day, guests of National Geographic Endeavour II explored North Seymour Island. In the morning, everybody went on a hike to observe and photograph marine birds, including blue-footed boobies and magnificent frigatebirds. During the afternoon, guests had the chance to snorkel and hike on Rabida Island.