Today is our last full day in the Galapagos Islands. We started our expedition with an optional early outing. We made a wet landing at Espumilla Beach. Right before we disembarked, we spotted turtles mating. We saw at least four pairs with many more underwater. We had close encounters with a few females and a male. The females returned to sea after we disembarked and approached them from a distance. We were extremely lucky to observe a curious and fearless American oystercatcher in the mangrove. It appeared unbothered by our presence. Today was particularly special, as the bird walked towards us and around us. Mesmerized by its beauty, trust, and fearless behavior, we remained still and respectful.

Back on board for breakfast, we repositioned the vessel toward our next visitors’ site, Buccaneer Cove. Here, we opted for different water activities, including kayaking, tours in the glass-bottom boat, snorkeling, and Zodiac driving lessons for our young explorers. Even though we are experiencing la Nina, we were able to observe many fish in the ocean. The sea is full of plankton, making it difficult to see the bottom. Rich nutrients provide sustenance to all life forms in the marine reserve surrounding the Galapagos.

Back on board the ship, expedition leader Juan Carlos Avila gave a farewell briefing with departure details.

Soon after, we enjoyed a typical Ecuadorian lunch full of colors and flavors while we repositioned the ship to the western part of Santiago Island.

We visited Puerto Egas, a mile-and-a-half-long visitors’ site that is full of life. We observed sea lions, fur seals, Sally Lightfoot crabs, yellow-crowned night herons, and marine and land iguanas. With a backdrop of waves and an impressive sunset, we said goodnight as the last full day of our expedition drew to a close.

We returned to the ship for a slideshow and the Captain’s farewell cocktail party to celebrate our time in a majestic place called the Galapagos.

We are currently navigating to Baltra, where the airport is located. Tomorrow, we will say goodbye to our guests who experienced the expedition of a lifetime.

We’ll miss you, amigos. Safe travels. Until the next time…