Today we woke up at Gardner Bay in Española Island. After a delicious breakfast, some guests disembarked for deep water snorkeling along the shore of Gardner Islet, while other guests went to visit Gardner Beach. Sea lions welcomed us at the beach and guests had a great time taking photos of these animals peacefully basking in the sand. In the afternoon, we disembarked to explore Punta Suarez. Here, we could find one of the most beautiful sea birds in Galapagos, the waved albatross. It’s the end of the mating season for these birds, and we observed a few couples in their final days on Española before they fly down to the coast of Peru to find food. We also found one of the largest nesting grounds of Nazca boobies, where we observed males bringing tiny rocks to females to catch their attention for mating. We ended our day with our traditional recap of the day onboard the National Geographic Endeavour II.
National Geographic Endeavour II
Today we enjoyed the opportunity to explore the uplands of Santa Cruz, one of the largest islands of the Galápagos. The humid zone offers perfect foraging grounds for the giant tortoise; in order to find the tortoises, we travelled by bus from the north of the island to the southern side. We found large numbers of tortoises on the privately owned El Manzanillo Ranch. After a delicious lunch, we returned to our ship and weighed anchor. We had reports that Wolf Volcano, located on Isabela Island, was still active! We navigated for a few hours until we reached the coast nearest to the eruption site; from there, we admired a beautiful red glow against the dark night. What an amazing opportunity to admire the forces of nature that produced these magnificent islands!