Onboard National Geographic Islander II, we start early in the morning navigating on the northwestern realm of Isabela Island looking for some marine mammals and sun fish. The western islands are formidable, being the most remote. The elegant, majestic outlines of Fernandina and Isabela’s shield volcanoes stand tall around Canal Bolivar, which divides both islands.

Today our breakfast was embellished by dramatic views of impressive volcanic landscape. We proceeded across the Equatorial Line and celebrated this event with our guests. The first activity of the day had us dropping anchor at Punta Vicente Roca, a collapsed caldera of Volcano Ecuador, one of the 6 volcanoes that form Isabela. The outing took our groups on a Zodiac ride to explore the coast because the geology of the site does not allow disembarkation. We spotted fur sea lions, blue footed boobies, Nazca boobies, Galapagos penguins and the impressive flightless cormorant. The newest islands are strongly influenced by the Cromwell Undercurrent that brings cold, nutrient rich waters and are volcanically pretty active.

Later in the morning we snorkeled under great conditions across the bay with swimming iguanas, sea lions, flightless cormorants, several species of fish, and foraging green sea turtles feeding on seaweed over the rocks. We had the opportunity to be surrounded by Galapagos penguins and feel accepted as part of this environment.

In the afternoon we arrived at Fernandina Island, the youngest in the archipelago, in the western realm of the Galapagos. We went ashore for a walk and were transported back to a time when the land was newly formed. The highlights of the hike were the countless Galapagos marine iguanas that were basking at the shoreline. It was a great opportunity to learn about and enjoy seeing the larger population of iguanas of Galapagos.

After a walk on lava flows that are hundreds of years old, we close the day with a sunset wine tasting. Every day in the Galapagos is an opportunity to re-discover the beauty of nature through unbelievable encounters, and today was no exception. Today’s visit was outstanding!