Our journey continued as we arrived at North Seymour Island, an uplifted volcanic island in the center of the Galapagos archipelago. North Seymour has an abundance of life with frigatebirds, blue-footed boobies, and Galapagos land iguanas. Inland, frigatebirds displayed for potential mates. They showed off their impressive inflated gular sac while shaking their wings and making a guttural clicking noise. It was quite a show. Blue-footed boobies are starting nests right now, and one showed us the three eggs being incubated. Land iguanas foraged on fresh vegetation, indifferent to us as we passed. Upon returning to National Geographic Endeavour II, a feeding frenzy began as blue-footed boobies, Galapagos sharks, sardines, brown noddy terns, and Galapagos shearwaters took part in the feast. After an incredible morning, we started our afternoon on Rabida Island, a dark red island that shows off its volcanic past. A snorkel along the coast brought us in contact with Pacific green sea turtles, Galapagos sea lions, and an array of reef fish. As the sun dipped below the horizon, we took a short walk to a brackish pond to enjoy American flamingos on full display. What a great finish to our first full day in the archipelago.
National Geographic Endeavour II
Our adventure on Floreana Island started early in the morning, at Punta Cormorant. We had a wet landing on a beach with “green sand” — its color is due to the presence of olivine crystals, volcanically derived silicates of magnesium and iron. The trail led us to a brackish lagoon, where we found Galapagos flamingos, giving us the perfect moment for pictures. Next we followed a trail surrounded mostly by palo santo trees; at this time of the year they are dry and leafless, but they are just waiting for the rainy season to blossom. At the end of the trail a white sandy beach was waiting for us. Later in the morning we snorkeled around Champion. It was an amazing experience to play with Galapagos sea lions while taking in the beautiful underwater landscape. We finished our visit to this island with the historical site of Post Office Bay. This is one of the islands’ most famous sites due to its frequent visitations by pirates and whalers during the 17th and 18th centuries. The crew of visiting ships would leave mail inside a barrel; in turn, they would pick up any mail that was destined for their own part of the world. Of course our guests left their own postcards there, hoping they will be delivered soon. We finished the day with kayaking at sunset — a beautiful end to a beautiful day.