We began the new year onboard National Geographic Endeavour II with a very entertaining party while we navigated to Dragon Hill. We made a toast to 2020, followed by a dance with some of the crew, naturalists and guests, after such a fun day, was time to rest for the adventure tomorrow.
After breakfast, we started the first outing of the day for the hike of Cerro Dragon, where we encountered some lava gulls, striated heron and Galapagos land iguanas around the trail, and in the lagoon there were some black-necked stilts among other shore birds. The hike was very warm and the first rains from the wet season have brought fresh water to the region.
Around mid-morning, we went for the first snorkel of the year in the Guy Fawkes Islets, where we swam in a small area with strong current where there were schools of king angelfish, razor surgeonfish, creolefish, and red cardinals. Some guests spotted a sea turtle, and the best encounter we had today was a big octopus inside a small rocky cave. The temperature of the water was 75°F, which made it very pleasant for all of us.
Afterwards we all enjoyed a delicious lunch, filled with all the good food that Ecuadorian gastronomy has to offer. After lunch, the Global Explorers visited the bridge, where the officer showed them the navigation instruments they use to drive the ship, and then they learned how to drive the Zodiacs. The adults went for the Zodiac ride outings around El Eden Bay.
To finish this exciting day, we all gathered on the sky deck for a wine tasting while circumnavigating the Daphne Islets around sunset, and toasting to the adventures to come!