On the last day of our journey, we encountered a “land before time” where avian wildlife has flourished. We arrived early and navigated into Darwin Bay, one of the few calderas on Earth where you can enter from the open ocean. The skies were clouded with great frigatebirds, Nazca boobies, tropicbirds, and red-footed boobies. During our exploration inland, we observed short-eared owls preying upon Elliot’s and Galapagos storm petrels as well as active nests of Nazca boobies and red-footed boobies with chicks. As the sun dipped below the horizon, swallow-tailed gulls cared for eggs and recently hatched young ones, and the ocean calmed down as we returned to our floating home, National Geographic Endeavour II.
National Geographic Endeavour II
Today was the second full day of our expedition, and we started activities very early to make the most of it. Right after sunrise, we boarded Zodiacs to explore a very interesting visitor site on Floreana Island. Here, a green sand beach was waiting for us. We learned about different types of sand and why the green color of this beach is so special. As we walked a little farther, we arrived at a brackish water lagoon. Flamingos are often observed here, but today was really special. We found nearly 80 flamingos feeding at the lagoon. This sighting was not only rare but also very exciting! We kept walking and arrived at a beach known as “the flour beach.” The beach has a particular type of sand that is not only white but very fine, like flour. Walking there was a pleasure. We encountered a sea turtle laying her eggs and covering them with sand. We observed diamond stingrays along the shoreline as we walked along the beach. Our next activity was an amazing deep-water snorkel. We observed many species of colorful fish along with one of the largest colonies of sea lions in the Galapagos. The afternoon was equally interesting, maybe even better! We had the opportunity to visit Post Office Bay, the location of the first mailing system on the islands. Long ago, sailors deposited their mail here, and it was collected by other ships passing through on their way back home. Nowadays, the mail system still works the same way. Postcards are dropped off and then picked up by future visitors, who follow the tradition by hand-delivering the mail once they make it home. After this exciting adventure, we enjoyed the clear and warm waters at the beach. Today was another great day in this little piece of heaven on earth.