Jan 10, 2018 - National Geographic Endeavour II
On Wednesday, we woke up as we reached the shores of Santiago Island. This is where Darwin expended most of his time in the Galapagos. Nine days camping, with the sky for a roof and the ground for a table.
At this island at the center of the archipelago, we began our day of exploration with a walk along Espumilla beach. The orange light of the first hours of the morning gave us great opportunities for photography on this calm outing, where we saw a brown noddy waiting on top of a pelican for a fish to escape the guttural sack of his host. We saw turtles copulating, blue-footed boobies plunge diving for a fresh breakfast, and the elusive ghost crabs with their sessile eyes coming out of the sand.
The morning was very active with snorkeling, where some of our snorkelers saw a manta ray! Kayaking and paddle boarding in Buccaneer’s Cove were also offered. In this site, geological formations, like the praying monk, captured our attention. In addition, we had a few rounds of glass-bottom boat rides, a fabulous way to get a clear view of the fish without getting wet!
A well-deserved Mexican lunch and a talk on human history of the Galapagos with naturalist Enrique Silva, allowed us to enjoy the common areas of the boat before disembarking in Egas Port, where we had a black-sand beach for ourselves to swim, relax, and snorkel. To end the outings of the day, we went for a walk around the shore and intertidal pools of Santiago with sittings of marine iguanas, sea lions, shore birds, and Galapagos fur seals.
After cocktail hour and recap, a barbeque in the upper deck for dinner was followed by a wonderful musical performance with the Captain—the songs were a wonderful ending for another day in the Enchanted Islands.