Today we had our official first day; we woke up anchored at Gardner Bay. In the morning it was all about water activities. After enjoying a delicious breakfast we went to enjoy the beach, where some chose to go deep water snorkeling. We had a great time enjoying the sea lions at the beach. In the afternoon we visited Punta Suarez. During our hike we saw Nazca boobies, sea lions, marine iguanas, the Española mockingbird and many other unique species from the island.
National Geographic Endeavour II
We arrived this morning to the northernmost anchorage of Santa Cruz Island, where Itabaca Chanel is located. We disembarked and started our excursion to the highlands, driving through different vegetation zones of Galapagos. Starting out in the arid zone, going through the transition area, and finally arriving in the humid zone. Our first destination was The Twins, two sink holes along the road, surrounded by a lush forest of Scalessia pedunculata or daisy trees. We also spotted other endemic species, including the Indefatigable passion fruit. Then we visited the Manzanillo ranch to look for Giant Tortoises that were active in their environment, some of them feeding, resting, etc. We saw juveniles and adults walking around, and most of them were enjoining the fresh water of a pond of the farm while our guests learnt their natural history and experienced a special moment with this emblematic creature. After the walk we had a delicious local lunch followed by Galapagos coffee and the moonshine produced in this farm. Back onboard there was a presentation about Geology of Galapagos which helped to understand many facts of the evolution of these islands. In the late afternoon we navigated to Bowditch, a beautiful white sand beach that is also a nesting area for sea turtles. They shared this gorgeous landscape with shore birds such as he black-neck stilt, lava gulls, brown pelicans, and blue-footed boobies. It was also a calm place for swimming for watching the sunset. In the lounge, over sushi, the underwater specialist presented a video of the week’s underwater wonders during this amazing trip.