Today we explored the untouched northern side of Santa Cruz Island. We landed on a lava field and set off in search of the dragons of the archipelago, the Galapagos land iguana.
In the coastal zone, we encountered sand bars where we saw blue-footed boobies diving. Colorful Sally Lightfoot crabs scuttled on black volcanic rocks, where marine iguanas camouflaged themselves while sunning. Forging ahead we came across a brackish lagoon of salt water that drew birds such as black-necked stilts and white-cheeked pintail ducks swimming with their babies. Next came a dry forest, which this time of year was green and lush from rainfall and alive with the sound of finches and the sight of Galapagos sulfur butterflies.
Finally, we arrived at Dragon Hill, the territory of Galapagos land iguanas. We found many of them, some eating, others resting. Two territorial males got into a fight when they came too close to each other. After our walk, it was time to get refreshed in the water. During our amazing snorkeling experience, we spotted sharks, turtles, and many different species of fish.
In the afternoon, the ship navigated to Borrero Bay. Here, we got into kayaks and started to explore the coastal area, which is a shelter for baby sharks and turtles. Paddling along the coast we appreciated the beautiful landscape and wildlife we found in mangrove trees and on rocky shores. We then returned to the ship, where we enjoyed a sunset wine tasting as National Geographic Endeavour II navigated around a beautiful islet known as Daphne Minor.