North Seymour & Rabida

Joshua Vela, Video Chronicler, November 2019

  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 10 Nov 2019

North Seymour & Rabida

  • Aboard the National Geographic Endeavour II
  • Galápagos

Sunday was an amazing day in the Galapagos. We woke up anchored next to a remarkable place: North Seymour, an island that was named by pirates in the 17th century and that hosts a colony of several species of sea birds. Right after breakfast we got in the Zodiacs and disembarked on the southern part of this small island. During our hike, frigate bird females were soaring over us, males were puffing up their bright red gular pouch to attract females, and chicks were trying to lift off. A newborn baby sea lion was next to mama, while bigger ones were resting on the beach. A couple of mobula rays were jumping in the distance. Blue-footed boobies were courting right near our feet and some juveniles and chicks were around waiting for their parents. Some land iguanas were posing for the camera right near the trail, another one was climbing a tree! Very unusual behavior, but the presence of the iguanas themselves was unusual, since this is not a natural population of the island. They were brought here in the 1930s by Captain Allan Hancock, an oilman that was concerned about the possible extinction of these animals. He actually saved them by placing 72 land iguanas on North Seymour. We already saw all of this wildlife and it was only 10:00 am!

Back onboard we started preparing all the details for our snorkel; we tried on masks, flippers and wetsuits. While navigating to Rábida Island, lunch was served; it was a delicious meal from the Andes region. After that, our photo instructor and naturalist Walter Perez gave an introductory talk and helpful advice on photography.

For the afternoon we had two outings, first snorkeling with an infinite school of sardines that had the frigate birds, sea lions, barracudas, tunas and sharks feasting! Our second outing was a sunset stroll on a red sandy beach that had a lagoon with flamingos and many sea lions to photograph.  We ended the day in the lounge with some wonderful insights about frigate birds from our naturalist, Magdalena, before enjoying dinner. Sounds perfect? It definitely was. Another delightful day that left us looking forward to what Galapagos has to offer for tomorrow’s activities in the recently erupted volcano of Fernandina Island!

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