We started our day with an early morning Zodiac ride to Espumilla Beach on Santiago Island, where we saw fresh sea turtle tracks and sea turtle nests. While walking through the mangroves we spotted a number of flycatchers as well as yellow warblers, lava lizards, and mockingbirds. The highlight was the end of the walk, where a Galapágos hawk was resting on a small branch on the beach and did not mind us taking pictures.

At mid-morning we anchored at Buccaneer Cove, a few miles away from the beach we had visited earlier. Here we had the opportunity to go kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, or to take a ride on a glass-bottom boat. Later, deep sea snorkeling allowed some of us to view huge seas of fish in a cave, as well as reef sharks, sea turtles, tropical fish, and, finally, a large nine-foot-long manta ray.

After lunch we navigated to another location on Santiago Island for our evening activities. Here we visited the black sand beach at Puerto Egas where we had one last chance to snorkel. We also had the option of swimming and relaxing on the beach amongst the sea lions until sunset. We then made our way back to the ship for cocktail hour and some snacks, followed by a briefing on the next day’s activities. The hotel department organized an amazing barbecue dinner on the observation deck overlooking the stars and lava flows in the distance, which was followed by live music provided by the captain and crew.

What an amazing day we all had! I can’t wait for tomorrow.