Watching nature at its best unfold before our eyes
After arriving to the Santa Cruz II, we were all anxious to go outside and explore the wonders that Galapagos has to offer. Even though our guests had quickly fallen in love with our ship, its ample lounges and comfortable rooms, they all had a single thought in their heads: when does the exploration begin? But before they knew it, we would soon discover the beauties of North Seymour Island.
Landing on North Seymour Island
In the afternoon we had our first dry landing on North Seymour Island. Guests of all ages and backgrounds, from all over the world, were all ready to go outside and discover the archipelago. As we disembarked, the first animals we saw were some cute baby sea lions. It is hard not to fall in love with them once you’ve seen them. They get a smile and a tender reaction from almost every guest. It seems like they know we have visitors on shore, because as the guests start arriving, sea lions become active and start barking and stretching to capture the attention of everyone around.
Once we managed to get away from the sea lions’ area, one guest spotted a bird and yelled, “BLUE-FOOTED BOOBY!” We all turned around to find a proud mother blue footed booby practically sitting in the middle of the path with its two-week old baby just staring at us. In most places in the world it’s impossible to get close to an animal without it getting away from humans, much less an animal with its offspring! The mother seemed completely unbothered by our presence, almost like she was proudly showing off her baby! Everyone took as many pictures as possible and checked the second member off the Big 15 list! We had only been 20 minutes into our walk and we had already seen two of the most iconic species in Galapagos. Wow!
A Stroll by the Beach
The trail led us to a beautiful beach with lava boulders on one side and a sandy paradise for lazy sea lions on the other. Also a perfect spot for marine iguanas to walk and for coastal birds to find food! As we kept walking, we came across the gorgeous view of the two islets in front of North Seymour: Daphne Major and Minor, the place where two British scientists spent over 30 years studying finches! What a treat.
As we moved inland we heard noises, and saw animals running in and out of the bushes. We paid attention to try to catch a glimpse of what was moving in the bushes. Suddenly, yellow dragon-like animals appeared. They were the famous land iguanas! Once again our guests went crazy with their cameras, while some of our younger guests let their curiosity take over, “are those dragons?” “Yes, they are our Galapagos dragons, as nicknamed by some,” our naturalists answered.
Spot the Frigate!
As if North Seymour Island hadn’t been generous with us, soon enough we spotted the always-amazing-to-watch frigate birds! Females were flying around trying to find the best males available for mating. Frigate chicks were waiting for their parents (and supper). Males were flying around with their magnificent and inflated crimson pouches. We told our guests that it’s this red balloon what attracts the females, and that’s why they parade it with pride as they make loud gobbles to call attention.
Go Crazy With the Beauties of North Seymour Island!
Sea lions, blue-footed boobies, land iguanas, marine iguanas, frigate birds, yellow warblers, Galapagos finches, turnstones, lava lizards, swallow-tailed gulls, pelicans and other amazing wildlife greeted us on our very first day! It is unbelievable how much life, how many species, how much beauty can be found on a small island like North Seymour. It was certainly a very good start to our Galapagos Expedition Cruise. As we returned to the ship, our guests couldn’t help but wonder, “if this was the beginning, what can we expect tomorrow?” Our answer: Expect to be bewildered, amazed and mesmerized. In the Galapagos, surprises await around every corner!