In the western realm of the Galapagos, we arrived at Fernandina, the youngest island in the archipelago. We went ashore for a walk where we were transported back to a time when the land was newly formed. Countless Galapagos marine iguanas basked along the shoreline. We observed so many unique creatures, including the flightless cormorant, Galapagos sea lions, and the top natural predator of the archipelago, the majestic Galapagos hawk.
The youngest islands are strongly influenced by the Cromwell Undercurrent, which brings cold, nutrient-rich waters. Volcanically, these islands are pretty active. After a walk on lava flows, we snorkeled in the bay under great conditions. We swam with iguanas, sea lions, and several species of fish. We observed green sea turtles as they foraged and fed on seaweed.
In the afternoon, we backtracked north and navigated towards the northwestern realm of Isabela Island. We arrived at Punta Vicente Roca, a collapsed caldera of Volcano Ecuador. We took Zodiac rides to explore the coast and observed fur sea lions, blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, Galapagos penguins, and the impressive flightless cormorant.
After a spectacular day full of activities in the field, we returned to the ship. As we crossed the equatorial line, we celebrated with a sunset wine tasting on the top deck. The western islands are formidable! Today’s visit was outstanding!