Jun 04, 2019 - National Geographic Islander
We woke up early this morning for a pre-breakfast outing to Cormorant Point. This site holds a greenish (olivine crystal) sandy beach and has mangroves surrounding a brackish water lagoon. We encountered several American flamingos feeding on brine shrimp, algae, and other crustaceans inhabiting the shallow mud banks of the lagoon. Along the beach, we also spotted a couple of blue-footed boobies nesting on cliffs.
After breakfast we navigated towards Champion islet. We went on a Zodiac ride looking for the very elusive Floreana mockingbird. Due to the introduction of different species, their numbers have decreased on the main island, but we were able to see a couple of these birds here! We also spotted several species of seabirds like brown noddy terns, Galapagos shearwaters, brown pelicans, and red-billed tropicbirds. Later, we went deep water snorkeling within the coast of Champion. Snorkeling here is incredible—we swam with Galapagos sea lion pups and spotted a Pacific green sea turtle and a large variety of tropical fish, including schools of king angelfish and yellow-tailed razor surgeons.
After lunch, we repositioned National Geographic Islander for a wet landing at Post Office Bay. Here you’ll find the oldest mailing system in the Americas, established in 1793 by Captain James Colnett. Long ago, whalers, buccaneers, and privateers used this correspondence system. Today we followed in that tradition by dropping some mail in a wooden barrel and taking some mail with us to hand deliver back at home.
Finally, we had a fantastic outing around the coast of Post Office Bay. We saw cownose golden rays, Pacific green sea turtles, and many shore birds. Later some of us decided to go kayaking and paddleboarding along the cove. Our day’s activities left us with more excitement for the rest of our expedition in this enchanted archipelago.
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