This morning, we went exploring on Fernandina Island, the youngest island in the archipelago and one of the most active islands in the Galapagos. The morning was spectacular! We enjoyed walking alongside big herds of Galapagos marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, playful sea lions, Fernandina’s endemic snake, and much more! After a delicious lunch and some time to rest, we went exploring again. This time we explored the coastline of Punta Vicente Roca on Isabela Island. Our first Galapagos penguin posed for pictures, and sea turtles popped their heads up to breathe several times. Blue-footed boobies and brown noddies were also part of the show. We finished our day by crossing the equator with a fun winetasting organized by our expedition leader and crewmembers.
National Geographic Endeavour II
It is the end of the dry season, and the weather in the Galapagos is starting to change. Our first visit today was Dragon Hill, an area where we found land iguanas nesting. We started by exploring the rocky shore, which is also known as the intertidal zone. This is an area where we can find many invertebrates that shelter from big predators in the tidal pools. We observed marine iguanas going to the water for food. We continued to explore the inside of the island, and we found one spectacular surprise: a greater American flamingo foraging in a brackish water lagoon. This bird, like many other animals in the Galapagos, is fearless in our presence and allowed our groups to take pictures and enjoy its presence from a close distance. We finally arrived at the land iguanas’ nesting site. As the rain has not started yet, there is very little food for these herbivores. They are looking for leaves and climbing cacti to eat the very scarce greenery. After a refreshing snorkel in the nearby islets, we visited a second site for the afternoon. We anchored in Borrero Bay. We explored these shallow waters in kayaks, paddleboards, and Zodiacs while observing the interesting mangrove ecosystem. We found pelicans nesting, frigatebirds displaying, and even baby sharks swimming around the nursery. Our day ended with a circumnavigation of a small islet known as Daphne, where a group of scientists following Charles Darwin’s footsteps discovered how natural selection and evolution can take place in just a few generations. A beautiful sunset complemented our toast as we ended a great day.