On April 24, we started a new voyage. Our guests arrived onboard at 14:00 and by 16:30, they were ready to explore Black Turtle Cove. In four Zodiacs, we departed into the channels of the northern shores of Santa Cruz Island. It was a surprise for all! No one expected to navigate through such a dense forest of mangroves. People usually associate Galapagos with giant Opuntias and barren lava. However, there we were, surrounded by green, red, white, and black mangrove species. The area is a nursery for fish and crustaceans, an important habitat within the tropics. Fortunately, the area is protected in the Galapagos. Therefore, we encountered dozens of spotted eagle and golden rays as they swam amongst green sea turtles and whitetip and blacktip sharks. As Javier said, it was a lagoon on steroids! After dinner, we enjoyed a perfectly clear sky. I shared the constellations I know with guests, including the famous Southern Cross, half of Orion, and half of Scorpio. The two were visible at the same time but not completely; otherwise, they would have been fighting.

North Seymour had it all: frigatebirds, blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, land iguanas, sea lions, and Darwin’s finches. In the afternoon, Rabida was the perfect place to snorkel for the first time. We observed a gigantic school of black-striped salemas, parrotfish, king angelfish, and many colorful marine invertebrates on the red walls of this cinder cone island. Sunset found us walking along the beach in the company of sea lions. We were happy, very happy, after learning so much and breathing in such peace and freedom on this isolated and protected archipelago in the Pacific.