With excellent weather and calm waters, we began our first full day in the Galapagos by visiting North Seymour. It is famous not only because of its incredible geological formations, but also because this island is home to many sea and land birds, plus reptiles and sea lions.
As soon we set foot on the island, we immediately noticed how the vegetation looks completely dry and some trees, like the incense or palo santo tree, appeared completely naked and without leaves, contrasting with the greenness we found months ago during the rainy season. Walking inland, we observe land iguanas and some blue-footed boobies. In nests located in bushes are many juvenile great and magnificent frigatebirds waiting to be fed by their parents. Some appeared somewhat exhausted by sun and heat.
After some minutes we arrived at a sandy trail. Here the vegetation changed completely; Instead of trees, we observed bushes. We encountered many juvenile blue-footed boobies walking freely along the sandy terrain. In a few weeks, these juveniles will be able to fly away from the island for a few years and return as adults to reproduce and nest, a life process that has been repeated for millions of years.
In the afternoon, after about four hours of navigation, the National Geographic Islander arrived at Rábida Island. In the distance, the island looked reddish and its hills and highlands somewhat greenish, contrasting with the blue of the sea and the sky. Our guests disembarked and enjoyed incredible snorkeling along the cliffs of the island. We observed many sea turtles, white-tipped reef sharks, and colorful tropical fish. What most caught our attention? Playful Galapagos sea lions swimming along with our guests.
At 5 PM, we had our last departure to the island to enjoy a beautiful sunset. In the water, diving pelicans and sea lion were in a feeding frenzy, trying to catch some fish, which tried to escape by jumping to the surface or very close to the beach. With the last rays of sun, we returned to the ship, tired but with many memories of this day that will be memorable for many of us.