Galapagos Cruise Report: Española Island

From the National Geographic Islander in Galápagos July 10, 2010

The last day of our expedition found us anchored at Gardner Bay, Española Island. Early risers enjoyed a great kayaking experience around Gardner Islet. Air temperature had dropped down very quickly in the last weeks. Today air temperatures that ranged in the low sixties; the water’s temperature has been also affected. Fortunately, after some years, we are observing that regular weather conditions have returned to the archipelago.

Española is both the southeastern-most and oldest island in the archipelago. This island has had a longer evolutionary process than other islands of the archipelago. Some of the species found here are endemic to this island, making our visit one of the highlights of the week.

Today seemed like everybody wanted to get the most out of the last day of the expedition. As soon as breakfast was over, we started with the planned activities of the day. Incredible crystal clear waters and thousands of cardinal fish covered the walls of the snorkeling site. We also enjoyed the company of a group of young sea lions that wanted to play with us the entire time we snorkeled. We all had an extraordinary time, and everyone one left feeling like the marine life had gathered around saying goodbye.

In the nearby Gardner beach, beachgoers had the company of not less than a couple of hundred Galápagos sea lions. Most of the sea lions were pregnant females, and therefore they did not want to move much around. We had the opportunity to get very close to them, and it even seemed that the sea lions were posing for our pictures. These unforgettable experiences will remain with us for the rest of our lives.

Our walk on Punta Suarez in the afternoon was the final touch to a perfect expedition in this magical place. We all felt the love that generous Mother Nature has imprinted on the islands!

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