National Geographic Endeavour II rounded the north of Isabela to reach Fernandina, the westernmost and youngest island of the Galapagos. As the ship navigated, we woke up to see the majestic shield volcanoes of the islands all around us. These waters are very rich with an array of life. A pod of common dolphins was spotted in the distance. On land, we encountered large colonies of marine iguanas, sea lions, lava lizards, crabs, turtles, and various seabirds, including cormorants, blue-footed boobies, and penguins. While snorkeling, we spotted green sea turtles and marine iguanas feeding on algae beneath the waves. In the afternoon, we explored Punta Vicente Roca on Isabela by Zodiac. We encountered more wildlife, including Galapagos fur seals and lots of sea turtles, flightless cormorants, and Galapagos penguins. We celebrated as we crossed the equator, ending a wonderful expedition day.
National Geographic Endeavour II
North Seymour & Rabida Islands
We began our day with a landing on North Seymour, where we encountered hundreds of birds, mostly frigatebirds flying overhead. We followed a path that took us to a breeding site of blue-footed boobies and magnificent frigatebirds. We watched their mating displays in awe as nature showed us its wonderful ways. Male frigatebirds inflated their red gular sacs and stretched out their wings trying to attract a mate. Male blue-footed boobies slowing raising their cerulean feet to show a potential mate that they can fish well and support a nest. We also spotted land iguanas, marine iguanas, lava lizards, and a Galapagos racer snake along the path. We continued our navigation to Rabida Island, famous for its red sand beach, a coloration resulting from iron oxide in its volcanic soil. Those who chose to snorkel were delighted with sightings of sea turtles, sharks, Galapagos sea lions, and colorful fish. As the sun dipped into the horizon, we continued with a casual walk to a brackish pond that has a resurgent population of American flamingos, an excellent way to finish this day.