Our pre-breakfast outing led us to a brackish water lagoon at Cormorant Point in Floreana Island. We were lucky to encounter several American flamingos feeding here as well as some common stilts and white-cheeked pintail ducks. As we continued our trek, we came upon sea turtle tracks. The white sandy beach we were currently on was a nesting ground of Pacific green sea turtles. After breakfast, we suited up for deep-water snorkeling around Champion Islet and spotted large colorful fish, several invertebrates on the rocky reefs, and even had sea lion pups swimming with us. Some of us had the opportunity to observe Pacific green sea turtles, and large schools of king angelfish. It was an incredible outing and an amazing opportunity to enjoy the blue heart of the planet.After lunch we traveled to Post Office Bay, a historical site housing the oldest mailing system in the Americas. The wooden barrel found here serves as part of this mailing system, long ago established for communications between whalers and their loved ones in the eighteenth century. Floreana was well visited by sailors, since it has natural occurring fresh water and used to have plenty of Giant tortoises for sailors to take. The island is a mixture of nature, history, and adventure. To think that we were standing at a place where many daring sailors have been is quite exciting.
National Geographic Islander
Our day began with a relaxing morning stretch on the sun deck, followed by a tasty breakfast with muchines de yuca , a typical dish from the coast of mainland Ecuador. Then we disembarked at the lovely black beach of Urbina Bay. We hiked among big bright-yellow Galapagos land iguanas and several female giant tortoises of the Alcedo Volcano. Some guests got a very close look at the graceful Galapagos hawk, the top of the food chain on land. Returning to the beach, some of us swam all the way back to the ship. In the afternoon, at Tagus Cove, we snorkeled from our Zodiacs. Some guests got the chance to swim with Galapagos penguins. Other guests steered kayaks and paddleboards around the cove, checking for marine birds in the nesting areas. We finished the day outside with a great hike among tuff cones in the interesting geological landscape. Text and photos by Bernie Jacome, Naturalist