After a long navigation, today we arrived to the west of the archipelago to explore two of the most beautiful islands in the Galapagos: Isabela, the largest of the group, and Fernandina, the youngest. This area is still volcanically active since it is right over a hotspot.
Surrounded by volcanoes, our first activity of the day was to cross the equator line. Our captain counted backwards…3, 2, 1…and blew the horn. Our naturalists held the Ecuadorian flag while we symbolically crossed the line and received a pin to celebrate. Later, we anchored in Punta Vicente Roca and lowered the Zodiacs to explore the shoreline. Here we found lots and lots of green sea turtles, but the highlights were the most iconic flightless birds of the Galapagos: Galapagos penguins and flightless cormorants. To end the morning, we jumped in the water and snorkeled in this beautiful area full of marine life.
After lunch, we enjoyed onboard activities. Our naturalist gave talks on photography and the human history of the islands. Our global explorers took Zodiac driving lessons, and some of the parents joined in the fun.
Late afternoon is the best time of day to visit Fernandina. This young and pristine island has so much to offer. Right on the landing spot, we found hundreds of marine iguanas. The term used to name a group of marine iguanas is officially “a mess”! And the reason becomes evident when we see them, all piled up on top of each other to warm up as fast as possible. We had to be careful not to walk on top of these unique reptiles because they are so still and blend in well with the rocks. Sea lions played and rested on the beach, while a couple of flightless cormorants courted in the sunset. A rainbow came out as we were leaving the island. We couldn’t ask for more.