Galapagos Cruise Report: Northern Isabela and Fernandina Island

From the National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos August 3, 2010

We woke up this morning while the Captain was navigating along the northern coast of Isabela Island, the largest in the archipelago. We were looking for marine mammals and seabirds fishing in the area. We had a nice sunny day, unlike the previous days, and we certainly enjoyed our first day without garua mist.

After breakfast King Neptune made an appearance as we crossed the equator line. We had our young explorers participating in this fun activity and everyone enjoyed it.

Later we went on a Zodiac ride along the coast of Punta Vicente Roca and saw lots of things. We found sea lions, boobies fishing, marine iguanas sunbathing, sea turtles swimming and even had a chance to see some Bryde’s whales, fin whale and minke whales up close. The volcanic features were also incredible – we could observe the different colors of the lava and its formations along the steep cliffs of this place.

In the afternoon we went to Fernandina Island; this is the youngest island, the last time it erupted was just last year. Along its irregular volcanic terrain we encountered hundreds of marine iguanas, several were just returning after feeding on algae. We also were surprise by the number of newborn sea lions we encountered with their mothers along the coast.

We explored the tidal pools as the tide was low when we started our walk. A few hours later the tide was coming in and far in the distance we could see a pod of dolphins and a couple of whales. As we returned to National Geographic Endeavour, our ship was surrounded by a pod of common dolphins jumping all around us. This was a magnificent way to end our day on the western realm of Galápagos.

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