Last night, we navigated more than 50 nautical miles toward a unique western island, Española. We started today’s expedition early in the morning with an optional kayak outing in Garner Bay. This wonderful bay is home to many endemic species. Our kayakers were surrounded by playful young sea lions; they displayed unbelievable energy and joy.

After a well-deserved breakfast, guests enjoyed more water activities, including snorkeling and kayaking along the shore. This place is surreal, and we enjoyed a feeling of true isolation. It felt like we were inside a postcard. We observed colors of all kinds: turquoise waters, blue skies with puffy white clouds, bright white sand on the beach, jet black lava rocks, and green vegetation. We enjoyed watching the curious wildlife, including sea lions, Española mockingbirds, cactus finches, and lava lizards, to name just a few.

Lunch was served, and National Geographic Islander II repositioned to our next destination, Punta Suarez. We were touched to see the sea lions approaching our guests at close range. Some of us observed a snake feeding on a lava lizard, and we enjoyed watching Nazca boobies and their chicks. Galapagos hawks were on the prowl for baby marine iguanas and snakes. This visitors’ site has a cliff with a blowhole that shoots forth a spray of seawater that has been compressed by many waves.

We returned to the ship for a recap, a briefing about tomorrow, and dinner. We shared our memories from our mid-December adventure in a majestic place called the Galapagos…