Last night, we navigated more than 50 nautical miles toward a unique western island. We started today’s expedition early with an optional kayak outing at Gardner Bay on Española Island. The bay is home to many endemic species. Our kayakers enjoyed a wonderful and sunny day full of colors.

Soon after, we had a well-deserved breakfast before resuming activities. The snorkelers headed out first, followed by the beachgoers who opted for another round of kayaking along the shore. This place is surreal, and we enjoyed true isolation. We felt like we were inside a postcard. We could see so many colors, including the turquoise water, the blue sky with puffy white clouds, the bright white sand beach, jet black lava rocks, and green vegetation. We also spotted curious wildlife: sea lions, Española mockingbirds, cactus finches, and lava lizards to name a few.

Lunch was served, and National Geographic Islander II repositioned to our next destination, Punta Suarez. We were touched to see the sea lions approach our guests. Some of us also saw a snake, and we enjoyed many adventures with Nazca boobies and their chicks and a nesting masked booby. This visitors’ site has a cliff with a blowhole that shoots out a spray of seawater. We observed Galapagos hawks on the prowl for baby marine iguanas and snakes. The tide was very high (two meters), and waves crashed against the lava rocks.

We returned to the ship for recap, a briefing about tomorrow, and a delicious barbecue dinner. We shared our memories with each other after an amazing day in this majestic place called the Galapagos Islands.