Just twenty minutes after the sun rose, we were on our way. The Zodiacs took only a few minutes to reach shore at Punta Cormorant, a brown beach in the shade. Once the light touched down, though, the beach sparkled with a green color due to the miniscule olivine crystals mixed in with beige tuff stone ash. The far side of the peninsula offered up a bright white sand beach with tracks of recent activity by green sea turtles from the night before.

Blue-footed boobies courted in pairs on top of a bank of cinder. They whistled and honked among the cutleaf daisy bushes blooming with yellow flowers. Dozens of bright flamingos inhabited the lagoon. Some flamingos were already on nests, and others started their courtship with parades, including an adult and juvenile Chilean flamingos amid close cousins.

Before lunch, we enjoyed cruising in the glass-bottom boat and/or deep-water snorkeling along the coastline of Champion Islet…and what a snorkel it was! Young, curious, rambunctious Galapagos sea lions couldn’t resist the temptation to dive bomb us. We observed colorful fish all around, and the water was clear.

The afternoon was brilliant – in all ways! The sun was bright off the water, and Post Office Barrel was full of postcards waiting to be delivered. Kayakers explored the protected bays just east of Post Office Bay and were thrilled to encounter flamingos hanging out on the beach!

It was a full, full day. We’ve seen so much, and it’s only our second day of the expedition!