On the fifth day of our expedition as Grosvenor Teacher Fellows, we started out the day ready to hike and experience the northern side of Santa Cruz. After a rainy, misty day yesterday, we were ready for some equatorial sunshine! While exploring the island, we got our first glimpse of a land iguana, a close relative of the marine iguanas we've been seeing everywhere. Though the marine iguanas can be found together in large groups called a mess, the land iguanas we saw were all solitary. After warming up on the hike, we headed back to the ship, changed into our wetsuits, and jumped into the Zodiacs for a trip to Guy Fawkes island for some snorkeling. The current was strong, and the water was a little chilly at 68 degrees Fahrenheit – we loved every minute of it and were among of the last to leave the water.
It was a very active morning and when we returned to the ship, we were treated to a traditional Ecuadorian lunch! The staff must have known we would eat too much of the delicious food because they planned a relaxing afternoon for us, a leisurely Zodiac ride exploring the coast of Eden, Santa Cruz. We saw, blue-footed boobies, black-tipped reef sharks, great blue herons, brown pelicans, Pacific green sea turtle, puffer fish, Sally Lightfoot Crabs, and several other shore birds. Never a dull moment here in the Galapagos! After the Zodiac ride, we enjoyed a beautiful sunset on the upper deck with our fellow explorers, and are hoping for a clear sky for some stargazing tonight. We can't believe we still have two more days here aboard National Geographic Endeavor II and can't wait to see what this adventure shows us next!