Today we started our expedition early in the morning. We visited South Plazas, a satellite island located on the eastern side of the second largest island in the Galapagos, Santa Cruz.

We enjoyed close encounters with land iguanas, sea lions, seabirds, and even sharks. Our mile-long walk took place on volcanic rock. From a cliff, we observed fish like yellowtail mullets and seabirds including frigatebirds, swallow-tailed gulls, shearwaters, and even the elegant red-billed tropicbird. As we continued, we observed a surreal landscape of succulent red portulaca that cast an impressive hue over the volcanic rocks. The landscape was adorned with unique prickly pear cacti. Along the way, we spotted land iguanas. The males are more colorful, likely to attract the attention of the females.

Soon after, we returned to the ship for a well-deserved stretching session, which was followed by a presentation on photography. National Geographic Islander II repositioned to our next destination, Santa Fe Island.

Lunch was served, and then we started our water activities. We snorkeled and kayaked among sea lions, turtles, schools of fish, and whitetip sharks. Today was particularly fun for those kayaking, as they got a close look at a sea lion that brought a fish out of the water for feeding.

We took walks to search for wildlife on Santa Fe. We were touched to observe curious sea lions approach our guests. Some of us also spotted a snake feeding on a lava lizard. This place offers so many adventures.

We returned to the ship for recap and a briefing for tomorrow. We shared the memories we made during dinner. We are grateful to begin the month of December in this majestic place called the Galapagos…