Española Island, Sunday

Socrates Tomala, Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 19 May 2019

Española Island, Sunday, 5/19/2019, National Geographic Endeavour II

  • Aboard the National Geographic Endeavour II
  • Galápagos

Today we woke up anchored next to the breathtaking island of Española, home to a colony of Galapagos sea lions and a number of endemic species, unique to this island. Early morning was dedicated to finding the right snorkeling mask and equipment for our upcoming adventures in the water, and after that, off we went, in the Zodiacs and to the beach. From the distance we could see a bunch of rocks; only once we got closer did we discover that they were not rocks, but resting sea lions. And here is where we get to practice our snorkeling skills.

Later on we tried deep water snorkeling, where schools of fish showed us the way along a wall covered with sponges, corals, hydroids, sea stars, and sea lions swirling all around us, curious about these odd-looking human-fish.  Just above the water, some of our guests went for their first unforgettable kayaking experience in the islands.

Back on board, lunch awaited us—an Andean feast! Juan Sebastian, our hotel manager, explained the various regional delicacies, including the 300 different kinds of potatoes we have in Ecuador!

After lunch all the kids gathered to start their journals to become National Geographic Global Explorers, while for adults, our photo instructor, Socrates, gave us an introductory lesson on photography.

The afternoon walk was the absolute highlight of the day. Albatrosses courting and soaring above us, male blue-footed boobies competing over females, Galapagos hawks, Nazca boobies with chicks, swallow-tailed gulls, racer snakes, hundreds of marine iguanas, Española mockingbirds, Galapagos doves. It was just like walking in an Attenborough documentary, everywhere you look, life was happening all around us.

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