This morning we landed at the magnificent island of Fernandina, the most western island in the Galapagos. We encountered a wide variety of wildlife while we walked on a Pahoehoe lava field mixed with sandy terrain. We saw hawks, marine iguanas, cormorants, pelicans, lizards, and more! The morning did not end there. The snorkel of the day was fantastic! We swam with countless marine iguanas and turtles; we even saw a penguin and cormorant in the water. What a wonderful morning, packed with learning and wildlife encounters. In the afternoon, we sailed to Vicente Roca and enjoyed a Zodiac ride. We observed the exquisite geology and lots of penguins and blue-footed boobies, along with a large colony of fur seals. Our equator crossing was the most fun part of the day, as crazy pirates arrived on board to greet our guests in celebration of the crossing.
National Geographic Endeavour II
We are experiencing an unusual rainy season in the Galapagos. We woke up to a beautiful blue sky at Urbina Bay with clear views of volcanos surrounding our ship. By 8:00 a.m., we were ready to explore Urbina Bay. The bay was underwater until 1954 when the powers of nature pushed the area up almost 20 feet. Over time, the area became the home and nesting grounds of many species, including land iguanas. The largest tortoise on Earth is found here near Alcedo Volcano. We made a wet landing. As soon as we disembarked, we observed a prehistoric creature basking on the beach, one of the well-known dragons of the Galapagos Islands. The black marine iguanas are the only seafaring lizards. Along the trail, we found yellow iguanas, or land iguanas. These iguanas do not swim and spend 99% of their time looking for food on the ground. We also observed giant tortoises and nesting mockingbirds. It was a hot day, and we enjoyed a little dip in the water to end our successful morning. We had a very busy afternoon with kayaking, paddleboarding, and snorkeling in Tagus Cove. We ended the day with a great hike and a dinghy ride during a magnificent sunset.