Today’s expedition took us to one of the most fascinating areas of this magical archipelago, the western realms of the Galapagos Islands. We started the day navigating along the volcanic coastline of Isabela Island. Just after breakfast, we crossed the equatorial line.

Later in the morning, we went for a Zodiac ride along Ecuador Volcano in area known as Punta Vicente Roca. The ride was outstanding as we spotted many animal species including, Pacific green sea turtles, flightless cormorants, brown pelicans, noddy terns, Galapagos penguins, Galapagos fur seals, etc.

The icing on the cake of the ride was a small pod of bottle-nosed dolphins who accompanied us bow riding the Zodiacs and swimming swiftly around. These beloved marine mammals always provoke admiration and joy from their observers. Not only was the wildlife exuberant, but the geological setting was spectacular as well.

After the ride, we got ready to go deep water snorkeling off the coast of Punta Vicente Roca. We encountered many Pacific green sea turtles, some sleeping on the bottom of the ocean, while others were very actively chewing on the green algae growing on the rocky bottom. Some flightless cormorants, rays, puffer fish and a couple of penguins were spotted while snorkeling as well. Conditions were excellent: clear water, calm and sunny. What an amazing snorkeling outing!

In the afternoon, we had a dry landing on the lava flows of Fernandina Island, the youngest of the Galapagos archipelago.  We explored the pristine coastal ecosystems of the island. The young black lava fields are the perfect example of primary succession, as life establishes for the first time on a new terrain. Hundreds of marine iguanas were seen everywhere!

Once back onboard before cocktail hour, we enjoyed a beautiful sunset from the observation deck of the ship while sharing our impressions about the captivating day we spent in this paradise.