Today was the first full day of our expedition with National Geographic Islander II. Very early in the morning, we took Zodiacs to Bartolome Island, where we climbed a wooden staircase all the way to the top for one of the most iconic views of the Galapagos Islands. During our Zodiac ride, we spotted the only warm water penguin in the world, the Galapagos penguin, which is also the third smallest. We counted about nine of these adorable creatures. In the afternoon, we took a walk along Cerro Dragon, where we saw almost a dozen Galapagos land iguanas all over the trail. Then it was back to the ship for a sunset cocktail.
National Geographic Islander II
Our day began with a mesmerizing exploration of Roca Redonda and Punta Vicente Roca. The morning sun cast a golden glow on the towering cliffs that define this part of Isabela Island. We navigated along the coast, observing the diverse marine life that thrives in these nutrient-rich waters. Notable encounters included playful Galapagos sea lions, elegant flightless cormorants, and sea turtles. Snorkeling enthusiasts were treated to a world beneath the waves and non snorkelers saw just as much from our glass-bottom Zodiac. In the afternoon, our expedition led us to the pristine shores of Fernandina Island. This uninhabited island is a haven for wildlife. The highlights were undoubtedly the iconic Galapagos marine iguanas basking on black lava rocks. As we carefully navigated the island's trails, we marveled at the otherworldly landscapes shaped by ongoing volcanic activity. A sighting of a Galapagos hawk soaring overhead added a touch of wild majesty to our exploration. The sense of isolation and raw nature in these untouched Galapagos corners reminded us of the importance of preserving these ecosystems. Our journey continues tomorrow, promising new wonders in this extraordinary archipelago.