North Seymour and Rabida Islands, 4/10/2022, National Geographic Endeavour II
National Geographic Endeavour II
Guests onboard National Geographic Endeavour II spent the day exploring both Seymour and Rabida Islands. At North Seymour, some guests chose to explore the island on a hike. We encountered dancing boobies, frigatebirds with inflated membrane pouches, Galapagos sea lions, and Galapagos land and marine iguanas. We also observed swallow-tailed gulls.
We visited Rabida Island in the afternoon for snorkeling activities. Created by the oxidation of iron, red sand beaches are quite rare. After snorkeling, we enjoyed a leisurely walk along the beach. We also visited a brackish lagoon and observed flamingos. Some guests spotted several flamingos flying, a rare sight indeed.
Alexandra grew up on the southeast coast of the United States. She has a deep love for the ocean that stems from her childhood spent surfing, kayaking, diving and fishing on the Intracoastal Waterway. Alexandra has lived on San Cristóbal Island for t...
In the middle of the hot season, we were blessed with a pleasantly cool day. During our visit to the research station and rearing center, we observed lots of active tortoises. In the afternoon, some of the tortoises even seemed to be running…in their slow tortoise way, of course!
Floreana Island, also known as the mystery island, was our destination today. We started the day with a pre-breakfast walk at Punta Cormorant. By 6:20 a.m., guests were ready. This site has several highlights, including sea turtles, blue-footed boobies, flamingos, rays, and many land birds. We saw them all today! The most amazing sighting was the flamingos performing their courtship dance. The flamingos in Galapagos are a subspecies of the American flamingo. There are only about 700 individuals in the entire archipelago, and we saw at least 60 of them today. Flamingos are unmistakable due to their color and size; they obtain their pink coloration from their main source of food, the tiny shrimp that are colloquially known as “sea monkeys.” These birds are indeed a favorite of many guests. After our visit, we returned to the ship and enjoyed a great breakfast. Later, we got ready for water activities. Snorkeling at Champion Islet was wonderful. We were in the water with different species of colorful fish, dozens of sharks, and plenty of sea lions. The afternoon was a thrill as well. We had a delicious Mexican lunch and our first kayaking experience. We visited the post office barrel, which Captain James Colnett placed in 1793. Floreana Island was likely a favorite spot of sailors since it had a permanent water source and giant tortoises that could be used for food. Tortoises can live without food or water for over a year, so they became a good source of fresh meat for sailors. For the past 200 years, visitors to the island placed postcards in the barrel. Subsequent visitors took the postcards to hand deliver once they returned home. Our guests wrote many letters that will eventually be delivered to their loved ones. We ended the day with our daily recap and a great dinner. What a wonderful day Floreana gave us.
Today was our first full day in the Galapagos. We had a sunny morning with perfect conditions to enjoy aquatic activities in the clear, turquoise waters of Gardner Bay. Sea lions and rays accompanied us. An afternoon hike at Punta Suarez took us through a colony of nesting Nazca boobies.