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Charles Darwin in Galapagos 2018

Charles Darwin in Galapagos: The HMS Beagle leaves the Port of Callao, Bound for the Enchantes Isles

By | Galapagos, History
The voyage of the HMS Beagle is now around four years old. Charles Darwin has jumped to the official position of on board Naturalist, after Robert McCormick quit the position back in Rio de Janeiro. It is now September 7th, 1835 and, just about a month ago, Darwin writes to his sister Catherine: “I am very anxious to see the Galapagos Islands – I think both the Geology and Zoology will not fail in being very interesting.” Read More
Killer Whales spotted from Yacht La Pinta

Expedition Journal: our brief encounter with Killer Whales!

By | Animals

“I spy with my little eye…”

At noon, when we were wrapping up our equatorial line-crossing celebration, one of our guests screamed: whales! Immediately after, our Expedition Leader identified these playful giants as killer whales -one of the most beautiful species on the entire planet. He promptly spoke with our captain, Patricio Villacís, so we could change our route in order to get a closer look at this magnificent animals. We were invited to move on to Yacht La Pinta’s very own Darwin Balcony, which is located at the bow of the ship, as this place has enough space for guests and crew to witness this wonderful event in comfort.
Killer Whale spotted from Yacht La Pinta

Photo Credits: Marcelo Izquierdo

A moment to remember

As we approached the area where these 4 orcas were, our Naturalist Guide gave us some valuable information about this species. They also pointed out that they were eating sunfish – also known as mola mola. This may not seem interesting or extraordinary at all. Killer whales eat fish, right? Nevertheless, as they ate their meal, small water birds started gathering around. They were eating the “leftovers” that floated around! Nature at its finest!
Killer Whales spotted from Yacht La Pinta

Photo Credits: Marcelo Izquierdo

Interesting facts about Killer whales

Killer whales are cetaceans with very particular diets. There are pods that only feed on fish and others that hunt bigger marine creatures like sea lions, dolphins, sharks, sea turtles, etc. They’re actually classified as apex predators because no animals prey on them. So, without this hazard, they can make the ocean their playground –and it truly is! Killer whale’s swimming skills are also very impressive! They can travel up to 30 mph and reach very deep waters. This whole experience seemed to be taken out of a postcard! The sea was calm, there was great visibility and no wind. We were with them for almost 20 minutes until they changed their course and got lost on the horizon. Our guests were so thankful for this magnificent experience, but we were just as humbled as them by the awesome display of beauty and wonder we saw.
la cumbre volcano eruption galapagos 2018 night

Expedition Journal: Experiencing the Eruption of La Cumbre Volcano aboard Yacht La Pinta

By | Galapagos, Testimonials

This is a complementary expedition journal that pertains to our original blog about La Cumbre’s eruption that happened in June of this year.

The morning of June 16th began with a shake. Shortly after feeling it, news of an earthquake in Galapagos reached Yacht La Pinta, which just so happened to be anchored over by Punta Vicente Roca during our Western Galapagos Islands itinerary. At approximately 11 o’clock in the morning, one of our panga (dinghy) drivers watched as smoke emerged from the uppermost parts of Fernandina Island off in the distance. This smoke, which turned out to be a volcanic fumarole, marked the beginning of an eruption over on La Cumbre volcano in Galapagos. Read More
sierra negra volcanic eruption update (July 2018)

Volcanic Eruption Update (July 6, 2018): Sierra Negra Volcano, Isabela Island

By | Galapagos
Our last eruption report that we published the previous week mentioned that Sierra Negra Volcano showed various fissures that were continuously releasing lava and other volcanic products. As of July 1, the intensity of the eruption had slowed down in many areas and no eruption evidence was readily visible. The local civil defense authorities and National Park Service also assessed the site and rolled back their original decree of not allowing visitors in the nearby overlook point of Sierra Negra Volcano. Read More
volcanic eruption galapagos

Volcanic Eruptions Galore! Fernandina Island concludes, Isabela Island is just getting started!

By | News
Our always dynamic Earth gave us a show about ten days ago with a powerful, delightful, and impressive eruption on Fernandina Island (La Cumbre Volcano). Just like most Galapagos eruptions, this one lasted about a week. Yacht La Pinta actually even got the chance to witness it in all its glory as it saw the complete eruptive process right from the start, managing to sail relatively close to where the lava itself was emerging. Ultimately, it offered guests and crew a beautiful window into a fireworks show unlike anything else in Galapagos, all of it courtesy of Earth’s mantle. Read More
remarkable land iguana encounters in galapagos

Expedition Journal: Remarkable Land Iguana Encounters in Galapagos take the Spotlight

By | Animals, Galapagos
Upon seeing them up high in the skies or the branches of trees, perhaps one of the most striking and radiant features of male frigatebirds in Galapagos (both great and magnificent) are their vibrant red hues that emanate from the iconic red gular sac on their neck. These sacs will only typically inflate during the courting months that occur during the hot season in Galapagos. All of it to impress the ladies. It’s worth remembering that this bird can measure up to an astounding 1.8 meters (~6 feet) upon spreading its wings! Read More
sally lightfoot crab in galapagos

La Pinta Expedition Journal: Sally Lightfoot Crab in Galapagos Found Eating an Unusual Meal!

By | Animals
For a person who has very little knowledge about marine biology, it is easy to be surprised with what you see on the grand variety of walks we take in Galapagos while traveling aboard Yacht La Pinta. During the visits, it’s not all that uncommon to see numerous crabs hanging out along the shores eating seaweed. But this afternoon, I was rather surprised and amazed by what we saw. Read More
sea lions vs sharks in galapagos

La Pinta Expedition Journal: Santa Fe Island in Galapagos – Sharks vs Sea Lions!

By | Animals, Galapagos
Today’s visit was a walk on the beautiful beaches and trails over on Santa Fe Island in Galapagos. Santa Fe Island in Galapagos offers guests the exciting chance to see numerous colonies of sea lions. They serve as quite the tourist attraction for each of our guests that opt for experiencing the Galapagos aboard our Eastern Galapagos Islands itinerary. Read More