Punta Vicente Roca & Fernandina Island

Jun 12, 2018 - National Geographic Islander

Our expedition took us today to the western realms of the Galapagos Islands. We started the day navigating along the volcanic coastline of Isabela Island. Just after breakfast, we crossed the equatorial line.

Later in the morning, we went for a Zodiac ride along Ecuador Volcano in area known As Punta Vicente Roca. The ride was phenomenal, we spotted many animal species including Pacific green sea turtles, flightless cormorants, brown pelicans, noddy terns, blue footed boobies, Galapagos penguins, Galapagos fur seals, etc. Not only was the wildlife exuberant, but the geological setting was spectacular as well.  After the ride, we got ready to go deep water snorkeling off the coast of Punta Vicente Roca. We encountered many Pacific green sea turtles, some sleeping on the bottom of the ocean, while others were very active chewing on the green algae growing on the rocky bottom. Some flightless cormorants and a couple of penguins were spotted while snorkeling as well. A couple of Galapagos sea lions played in the water with us! What an amazing snorkeling outing!

During the afternoon, we had a dry landing on the lava flows of Fernandina Island, the youngest of the Galapagos archipelago. We explored the pristine coastal ecosystems of the island. The young black lava fields are the perfect example of primary succession, as life establishes for the first time on a new terrain. Hundreds of marine iguanas were seen everywhere!

Once onboard at cocktail hour we enjoyed a beautiful sunset from the observation deck of the ship while sharing our impressions about the fascinating day we spent in this paradise.

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About the Author

Carlos Romero

Expedition Leader

Carlos was born in Quito, Ecuador and grew up in Venezuela, where he lived for many years near the ocean and later the rainforest. He returned to Quito to study biology and specialized in the fauna of Ecuador. His main field of study was zoology with an emphasis on vertebrates. He has a doctorate in biology and a master’s in ecotourism and natural protected areas management. He designed a new curriculum for the largest university in Ecuador, the Central University— a masters in environmental management and administration of natural protected areas. Carlos has also taken part in various scientific projects and expeditions with the Biological Sciences Department of Quito’s Polytechnic University. He has published several scientific papers, including one about the bats of Galápagos and one about the vampire bat of mainland Ecuador.

About the Videographer

Dave Katz

Video Chronicler

As a family growing up in the Finger Lakes region of New York, free time was spent in the outdoors. Dave’s mother, an earth science and biology teacher turned weekend hikes into informative lessons. The beautiful gorges, lakes and forests made a lasting impression.

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