Our first excursion of the day started at Punta Espinoza Bay, one of the most pristine spots in the Galapagos. Fernandina is the youngest island in the archipelago, which was clear upon landing. As we walked on a pahoehoe lava field, we recognized the pioneer plants that are characteristic of young island landscapes, especially lava cacti.
During the outing, we had multiple encounters with Galapagos sea lion babies. We observed them playing in tide pools while they waited for their mothers to return to land to nurse them. Thousands of marine iguanas surrounded the area. At this time of year, they are starting to mate, and we observed males protecting their territories. We snorkeled in the late morning, and the visibility was very clear. We had the chance to swim with various fish species, sea lions, marine iguanas, Pacific green sea turtles, and even a Galapagos penguin that was feeding in the area.
During a Mexican lunch on the ship, we spotted a pod of pilot whales passing close by. It was an unexpected but incredible sight.
The ship moved to Punta Vicente Roca on the northern part of Isabela. Guests enjoyed a Zodiac ride along a tall cliff with an amazing, collapsed caldera. We saw many different seabirds. Galapagos fur seals climbed the rocks, and flightless cormorants fed in the ocean and dried off on the rocks.
Back on board, the celebration began as we crossed the equator. We gathered on the Sky Deck for a wine tasting at sunset and toasted the wonderful day we just had!