We all woke up today inspired and eager to enjoy our first full day in our expedition around the magical Galapagos Islands. Just after our home away from home, the National Geographic Islander, dropped anchor in the narrow channel between Baltra Island and North Seymour Island, we went ashore.

Early in the morning, we visited North Seymour Island. An exhilarating explosion of wildlife enriched our souls and minds. We walked surrounded by the fantastic ecologically naïve Galapagos wildlife. We observed many active frigate birds taking care of their juveniles, and several male frigate birds were trying to attract passing by females with their red, rather comical full-blown gular sacks. We also saw swallow-tailed gulls, Galapagos land iguanas, and Galapagos sea lions.

In the afternoon, we visited Rábida Island, disembarking on a red sand beach that looks surreal. We had a successful first exploration of the underwater world of the Galapagos. We spotted huge schools of fish, Galapagos sea lions, green sea turtles, and white-tipped reef sharks. Later, we went back to shore for strolling along the red beach surrounded by turquoise waters. At the end of this wonderful day, we felt not only happiness in our hearts and minds, but we felt grateful as well to have the privilege to explore one of the ultimate paradises on Earth, the enchanted Galapagos Islands.