We woke up to the view of Floreana Island and Post Office Bay. This island is one of the most important with regard to the human history of the Galapagos archipelago. Before breakfast we had a wet-landing outing to explore the famous post office barrel known as the oldest mailing system in the Americas. Some of us chose to go kayaking along the calm waters in search of sea turtles, sea lions, and shorebirds. After the visit to the post office barrel, we came back to the ship and had breakfast.
After breakfast we went deep water snorkeling around Champion Islet. Some of us were lucky to see whitetip reef sharks; we also observed sea lions playing with us in the water, and a large variety of fish. Some guests opted for a glass-bottom boat ride instead and were lucky to spot some pacific green sea turtles and sea lions.
After lunch, we went kayaking at Cormorant Point, another visitor site along the coast of Floreana. Kayaking was spectacular — we spotted blue-footed boobies, sea lions resting, sea turtles, and brown pelicans flying overhead. After kayaking we walked further into the island to explore a coastal water lagoon and see American flamingos, among other lagoon birds. One of the highlights of this afternoon’s walk was near the end of the trail when we came to a white sandy beach covered with sea turtle nesting grounds on the higher shores. We spotted frigatebirds soaring above the nesting grounds. We walked closer and inspected this behavior only to find the magnificent frigatebirds feeding on the baby turtles as they were hatching out of the sand. This was quite a spectacular, surprising, and very National Geographic moment.
After an incredible hike on Floreana, we came back to National Geographic Islander II and enjoyed a beautiful sunset on the observation deck.