After being gently rocked to sleep by the waves, the guests of the National Geographic Endeavour II rose early to take full advantage of a walking or photography stroll on the Island of Floreana. Before the Zodiacs reached the shore, we were greeted by a playful Galapagos sea lion. As many guests completed their first wet landing of the expedition, cameras were quickly assembled to capture every magical moment of wildlife interaction. Early morning sightings included a comical stare off between blue-footed boobies and human photographers, two endemic Floreana plants: lecocarpus and the scalescia, a variety of Darwin’s finches, and the greater flamingo. Witnessing these pink birds take flight before us created a lasting imprint on the hearts and minds of our guests. The local menu of nutrient-rich shrimp creates the vibrant pink color. The finches gathered around our naturalist as he impressed us with his bird-calling abilities. Some guests took advantage of an early morning spa treatment, incorporating the natural Floreana mud to moisturize their weary feet.
After breakfast some guests took advantage of the glass-bottom boats to view the lively underwater community, while others took part in a deep water snorkel outing. Once immersed in choppy and chilly water, guests swam through schools of king angelfish and creolefish. Two green sea turtles even joined the school of humans swimming off the coast of Champion Island. Playful pirouetting sea lions made it difficult for the guests to leave the enchanting waters.
The afternoon saw guests interacting through art on paper or art on the peaceful waters as they paddle-boarded or kayaked in the calm waters of Post Office Bay. Guest delighted at the opportunity to pick up and drop off mail at the historical site of Post Office Bay.
The traditional end of day recap included an explanation of our experiences as Grosvenor Teacher Fellows.