National Geographic Endeavour II continued its itinerary with a visit to the small island of Sombrero Chino, located just 0.1 miles (150 meters) southwest of Santiago Island. Santiago has unique wildlife and a fascinating landscape of rocky shores and lava fields. National Geographic Endeavour II guests enjoyed simultaneous water activities: kayaking, snorkeling, and Zodiac rides. In the late morning, we enjoyed a boat ride along a chain of eroded tuff cones. As we navigated, we passed an enclosed saltwater lagoon. The lagoon was formed by seawater filtrating through the walls of a collapsed tuff cone. We even had the chance to spot a group of Galapagos American flamingos. By the end of the day, we were anchored by Bartolomé Island, a scoria / tuff island formation with a view of Pinnacle Rock. This sandstone formation is one of the most iconic views in the Galapagos. This particular landscape was featured in the movie, Master and Commander.
National Geographic Endeavour II
Today was the second full day of our expedition, and we started activities very early to make the most of it. Right after sunrise, we boarded Zodiacs to explore a very interesting visitor site on Floreana Island. Here, a green sand beach was waiting for us. We learned about different types of sand and why the green color of this beach is so special. As we walked a little farther, we arrived at a brackish water lagoon. Flamingos are often observed here, but today was really special. We found nearly 80 flamingos feeding at the lagoon. This sighting was not only rare but also very exciting! We kept walking and arrived at a beach known as “the flour beach.” The beach has a particular type of sand that is not only white but very fine, like flour. Walking there was a pleasure. We encountered a sea turtle laying her eggs and covering them with sand. We observed diamond stingrays along the shoreline as we walked along the beach. Our next activity was an amazing deep-water snorkel. We observed many species of colorful fish along with one of the largest colonies of sea lions in the Galapagos. The afternoon was equally interesting, maybe even better! We had the opportunity to visit Post Office Bay, the location of the first mailing system on the islands. Long ago, sailors deposited their mail here, and it was collected by other ships passing through on their way back home. Nowadays, the mail system still works the same way. Postcards are dropped off and then picked up by future visitors, who follow the tradition by hand-delivering the mail once they make it home. After this exciting adventure, we enjoyed the clear and warm waters at the beach. Today was another great day in this little piece of heaven on earth.