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National Geographic Endeavour Galapagos Cruise Recipes

Galapagos cruise food

I would swear that I took photos of some of these dishes on board the National Geographic Endeavour but I can’t find them.  My bad!

Shortly before the cruise, Linda found out she was allergic to wheat products and needed to be gluten free.  Among numerous other items, that really reduces the kinds of bread you can eat.  During the voyage, we met some people who also needed to be gluten-free and  especially for them the kitchen is making cassava bread.  Linda and I both try it.  Where has this been all our lives?

Linda asks Edison, the always helpful dining room manager, if she can be added to the cassava bread list. We have it for breakfast every morning from then on.  That’s how accommodating things are in Lindblad Expeditions National Geographic Endeavour dining room.

Cassava Bread/Pan de Yucca

Ingredients:

2 cups   Cassava flour (Yucca or manioc)
2 cups   Grated mozzarella cheese
2   Egg yolks
4 Tbsp.   Butter
Salt to taste

Preparation:
1) Mix all ingredients until consistent and firm in order to form the dough.
2) Form little buns and let them rest for about 10 minutes.
3) Preheat oven at 375 F.
4) On a buttered pan place the buns and put it in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the tops are  golden.
______________

Brazilian Xim-Xim Soup

This is a wonderful soup but the recipe is for all the diners at lunch. So, I would suggest you make one-tenth of what the recipe calls for. By the way, this recipe took almost an hour to translate the ingredients from such odd requirements as a “taza” of this or that. So there were some selfish motives here, too, so we can make it for ourselves.

Ingredients:

Group 1
1 cup   Butter
4 cups   Pearl onion finely cut
4 cups   Red onion, Cubed
4 cups  Green & red peppers, cubed
6 Tbl   Garlic, finely cut
1 cup   Ginger, finely cut

Group 2
4 cups   Tomatoes (Skinless & finely cut)
2 cups   Canned tomatoes
16 cups  Chicken broth
1 Tsp.   Turmeric
½ Tsp.  Cheyenne

Group 3
11 lbs.   Fish (wahoo), cubed
1.4 cups  Coconut , toasted
1.7 cups  Macadamia nuts, toasted
6 cups   Coconut milk

Preparation
1) Toast coconut and macadamia nuts in oven until golden brown.
2)  Sautee ingredients of Group 1 in butter.
3)  Add all ingredients of Group 2 and simmer at low temp for
about 15 min.
4)  Just prior to serving the soup, bring to a boil. Add Group 3, stirring
well until the coconut milk is dissolved. Cook until the fish is done

Salt & pepper to taste
________________

Carrot and Ginger Soup
Serves 10

This is a simple soup that anyone who likes carrots and ginger (one of my favorite spices).  This also is an easy recipe to reduce from 10 servings to five.

Ingredients:

10   Carrots
1/3 cup   Ginger
1-1 /2 qt   Chicken stock
1 cup   Onions, chopped
1 cup   Whipping cream
1/4 cup  Scallions chopped
1/2 cup  Parsley
3.50z   Butter

Preparation:
1)  Boil carrots until tender. Puree with hand held mixer or food processor.
2)  Sauté pureed carrots with onions, ginger and butter.
3) Add chicken stock and bring to a boil for 30 minutes .
4) After carrots are cooked, liquefy through a strainer, return to pot and bring to a boil.
5)  Lower heat to medium and add whipping cream, parsley. Salt & pepper to taste.
_____________

Chocolate Decadence

For 12 people

I know there are photos of the Chocolate Decadence somewhere and when I find them I will add them and tweet their appearance. Again, this recipe needs to be cut for 4-6 people rather than the 12 this recipe covers. Add vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients:

11   Eggs
1 lb.   Semi-sweet chocolate
1-1/2 cups   Butter
1 cup   Vegetable oil
1 cup   Sugar

Preparation:

1) Melt together the chocolate, butter and oil, and let it sit until warm.
2) Beat the eggs with the sugar until the mix has become thick. Put it on low
heat for a couple of minutes and combine half of this mix with the melted
chocolate. Combine it slowly, and add the rest of the eggs.
3) Put it in the oven for approximately 20 minutes (350 degrees) When you take
it out of the oven the cake will be a little wet; put it in the refrigerator over
night or at least two hours.
4) Before serving you can pour on Grand Marnier or any kind of liquor on
top along with whipped cream, some chocolate sprinkles and raspberry coulis.

These recipes are a small sample why it can be so difficult to leave the Lindblad Endeavour’s dining room behind.  Not saying I wouldn’t have liked a hamburger or pizza at some point during the week. However, Linda and I always like to try new foods. And bring back recipes and see which ones we can incorporate into our lives. Cassava bread is the highest on our priority list.  As for the Chocolate Decadence, that will be treat for friends when we can be sure there won’t be any leftovers.  I need to lose weight.

Lindblad Endeavour Galapagos Cruise Links

The Galapagos Experience                                       Endeavour Dining
Galapagos Adventure Upcoming                            Sustainable Dining Policy
How Darwin Saved The Galapagos                         Saturday Dining Menus
Galapagos Photo Tips                                                  Sunday Dining Menus
What To Pack For Cruise                                            Monday Dining Menus
Getting to Guayaquil                                                    Tuesday Dining Menus
Las Bachas Shore Landing                                         Wednesday Dining Menus
North Seymour Shore Landing                                 Thursday Dining Menus
Fernandina & Isabela Islands                                   Friday Finale Menus
Urbina Bay Shore Landing                                          Endeavour Recipes
Life Aboard The Endeavour
More About Life On Board
Puerto Egas Shore Landing
Endeavour’s Floating SPA
Meeting One of World’s Rarest Animals
Puerto Ayoro Walking Tour
Santa Cruz Highlands Tour
Hunting Tortoises in the Santa Cruz Highlands
San Cristobal, Endeavour’s final stop

More About Daily Life On Board Lindblad’s Endeavour

Lindblad Endeavour kayaking Galapagos-1

More thoughts and observations about daily life on the Lindblad National Geographic Endeavour, a follow-up to yesterday’s post.

Kayaking
According to Carlos Romero, our expedition leader, Lindblad Expeditions is the only cruise company to offer kayaking, That isn’t surprising since, according to the National Park, most other boats carry only 16 passengers. The kayaks serve two purposes: to provide a different activity and to allow passengers to seek out on their own the birds, iguanas and sea lions that reside on steep island cliffs. All kayaks are two-person sit-on-top models, which are quite stable; you’d have to work extremely hard to tip one over.

Lindblad Endeavour kayaking Galapagos-2                                       Paddling at Tagus Cove, Isabela Island

But with two people paddling, it’s vital both paddlers be in synch, each alternating to the same side with every stroke. Paddlers are out of synch when, seen from the front or rear, their paddle blades resemble a windmill in motion, which is not good; the purpose of windmill blades is to spin in a circle.

The only tricky part is getting in and out of the kayak, which is achieved from a Zodiac, not the Endeavour. A kayak is held alongside the inflatable as two paddlers, on at a time, slide onto the center of the kayak. It’s a more delicate exercise to slide back into the Zodiac since the kayak is lower. If anyone is likely to fall into the drink, it’s during the loading and unloading exercises.

The Endeavour has no scheduled kayak quick-course since it doesn’t require much instruction to propel the craft. However you may find these tips helpful. Guides accompany kayakers, able to shout directions to anyone needing help.  As with snorkeling, a Zodiac stays close to pick up anyone needing assistance or provide a tow.

Talks by Naturalists

These are one of the high-points of the trip. Frequently the briefings are just after lunch or part of the evening recap. Naturalists change regularly to rotate to other Lindblad ships or take a week or two off, meaning topics may change from week to week Almost all of the naturalists are Ecuadorians, either born in the Galapagos or long time island residents. All have been trained and certified by the National Park Service

Lindblad Endeavour Galapagos penguins-1  Lindblad Endeavour sea turtle Galapagos-1
Possible talk topics include Galapagos penguins and Pacific sea turtles 

Sample talk topics may include a history of early 20th century settlers in the Galapagos (if Galapagos native Aura Cruz gives this talk, you must attend not only for the information but the strange and wonderful video of people dancing with their “adopted child:” a donkey!). Expect an explanation of how Charles Darwin’s visit to the islands helped form his theory of natural selection, perhaps even a separate session or the evolution of fish species. Regardless, all sessions are informative and usually accompanied by films or slides shown on large flat screen TVs scattered around the lounge so everyone has a good view.

Personally, until one of the talks I never knew that Charles Darwin’s family was so wealthy and that it was due to the Darwin family tradition of marrying one of the Wedgwood daughters, as his father and Charles both did. These are the same Wedgwood  as in fine china and whose name has become almost a generic synonym for elegant table ware.

Endeavour Library
The ship’s library offers a small but interesting selection of books about the Galapagos and other expedition regions. Tim was one of the first people in the library after we sail from Baltra and he happened to find a worn copy of the Pulitzer-prize winning The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time. He found it a fascinating read, describing a 20-year study recording how the beaks of finches on Daphne Major Island changed over the span of 20 generations. The research proved for the first time the process of evolution not only occurs, it can also be observed. The study is still ongoing.

Lindblad library-1  N Seymour Darwin Finch-2
                 The Endeavour library; a Darwin finch on North Seymour Island

The library is worth visiting even if you don’t intend to read (there isn’t much free time except at night). The small room is a quiet, out-of-the-way place to sit and enjoy a cup of tea or snack on a wafer anytime, around the clock, since everything is provided on a self-serve basis. This is one of the ship’s less frequented areas.

The Computer Lab                          
A small computer lab located next to the reception area offers three  computers. All are linked to a printer, which can be used to make a hard copy of any important documents, such as airline online check-in. Satellite internet time is sold in various units, with the system working best when the Endeavour is stationary.
Lindblad Endeavour computer room-1

The Main Lounge
The social hub of the Endeavour is located on the deck just above the 100 cabins. The lounge is open around the clock for tea and free soda fountain (Diet Coke, Coke, Spite). A small glass-fronted cooler offers Ecuadorian beers with an honor system signup sheet for a person’s room number and the number of items taken. In early evening, just before the daily recaps, appetizers are served with treats like chicken lettuce wraps, chips, salsa, and veggies with dip. And the full bar here also is open at that time.

Lindblad lounge-1

The lounge provides the only the nightly entertainment, which normally consists of TV specials by (surprise!) National Geographic about different aspects of the Galapagos. Toward the end of the cruise, a group of local musicians and dancers from Santa Cruz Island entertained us with music and dance not only from Ecuador but Bolivia and Peru. Called Eco Arte, they were so impressive we bought all four of their CD’s, a perfect memory of the Galapagos. If you like their playing, buy the CD’s from them when they are on the ship. It’s the only opportunity you’ll have.

Galapagos Eduacorian dancer Lindblad National Geographic Endeavour

The Outside Decks
The stern has have a mix of tables and chairs and loungers, usually occupied by people reading or dozing between shore landings. A tiny swimming pool located near the stern is more like the size of a plunge pool and it seems universally ignored by everyone. It might appeal to young children, but none were on our trip.

Lindblad Endeavour sun deck-1  Lindblad Endeavour swimming pool-1

Tip: Wet bathing suits can really start smelling after a couple of days. Use the complimentary clothes dryer in the spa wellness area for anything that gets wet. Or take advantage of the Endeavour’s one-day laundry service.

Lindblad Endeavour Galapagos Cruise Links

The Galapagos Experience                                       Endeavor Dining
Galapagos Adventure Upcoming                            Sustainable Dining Policy
How Darwin Saved The Galapagos                         Saturday Dining Menus
Galapagos Photo Tips                                                  Sunday Dining Menus
What To Pack For Cruise                                            Monday Dining Menus
Getting to Guayaquil                                                    Tuesday Dining Menus
Las Bachas Shore Landing                                         Wednesday Dining Menus
North Seymour Shore Landing                                Thursday Dining Menus
Fernandina & Isabela Islands                                  Friday Finale Menus
Urbina Bay Shore Landing                                         Endeavour Recipes
Life Aboard The Endeavour
More About Life On Board
Puerto Egas Shore Landing
Endeavour’s Floating SPA
Meeting One of World’s Rarest Animals
Puerto Ayoro Walking Tour
Santa Cruz Highlands Tour
Hunting Tortoises in the Santa Cruz Highlands
San Cristobal, Endeavour’s final stop

Life On Board Lindblad’s National Geographic Endeavour


Lindblad endavour off Rabida-1

Who’s In Charge
Every Lindblad Endeavour Galapagos cruise has three supervisors:

The Captain, who hopefully you won’t see except at social functions. You don’t want to see him in a public area with a megaphone in hand or hear his voice over your cabin speaker during the distress signal while someone is pounding on your door.

The Expedition Leader, the most visible person of the three since this person usually oversees all departures and returns and emcees the nightly recaps in the lounge.

The Hotel Manager, someone who only occasionally is recognized at the lounge meetings but is usually present in the dining room at every meal. Other than the captain, this is the most important person on the ship. The hotel manger is in charge of the cabins, the dining room, pretty much everything on the ship that doesn’t include the bridge or any of the mechanical/technical operations.

Montserrat Rodriquez, Endeavour hotel manager                               Montserrat Rodriquez, the Endeavour’s hotel manger

Finding Your Way Around The Ship
Although the Lindblad National Geographic Endeavour is one of the largest ships stationed year-round in the Galapagos, it carries a maximum of 96 passengers. At the beginning of the cruise, you may find yourself going to the wrong decks because they have an unusual numbering system. Cabins with a 300 number are at the ship’s lowest level, while those with a 100 number are located two decks above, just the opposite of most cruise ships..

The Stateroom
Either the Endeavour has more spacious cabins than any other cruise line or Linda did a really good packing job. For a change, we don’t have camera equipment and other gear scattered around our stateroom. Square-foot wise, our cabin isn’t all that large but it has really good storage space.

Our stateroom room is basic: two twin beds against opposite walls with a nightstand in between. Together, the three items probably don’t cover much more space than a single king-size bed. However, under the beds we can hide the suitcases, shoes, dry bags and other gear. A flat area between the bed headboards and the cabin’s window makes a convenient shelf for our Kindles, books borrowed from the ship’s library, the daily activity sheets and our sunglasses. We each have a lamp over our beds with the added feature of a built-in reading light, one of the cabin’s best features.

    Lindblad Endeavour cabin-1                           Some cabins on the Endeavour have a large single bed

At the foot of one bed is an easy chair and a small work desk with chair and mirror. Amazingly, there are three electrical outlets above the desk instead of a single one on most cruise ships. Two of the outlets are 110, the other 220 for a European-style plug. We always pack a power strip to have enough outlets for our computers and for recharging camera batteries. Before Tim sets up his computer on the desk, most of the desk space was occupied by a large container for water and two drinking glasses. He transferred them to the top of a wooden coat rack, which acts like an additional shelf. They fit perfectly.

Behind the desk are two roomy closets with several large drawers for folded clothing plus plenty of space for hanging them. Everything fits perfect even with all of our computer and photography equipment. One item absent from the cabin is a TV, which we’re too busy to miss.

The cabin stewards are surprisingly attentive. In addition to their usual morning clean-up and towel change, they return during the day while we’re out to straighten up the room.

The Day Begins
Our mornings always start early, sometimes at 6:15 a.m. but never later than 6:45 with a wakeup call on “Radio Carlos,” the name for our room speaker. Carlos Romero, our expedition leader, always greets us with a cheery, “Good morning, breakfast will be served in 15 minutes.”  This speaker system has its pros and cons.  It’s a real convenience since you don’t have to worry about setting an alarm clock or being late for any activity because the departures are always announced well in advance.  And one of the two channels also broadcasts the nightly recaps and any afternoon talks by the naturalists held in the ship’s lounge. That makes it possible for us to stay in our cabin to download images from our cameras and not miss anything important.

Lindblad Endeavour sunset-2                                            Relaxing on deck for sunset watching.

The one bad part of the speaker system is that if you decide to sleep late and miss an excursion, you can’t turn down the volume. On the one morning Linda decides to take a break, she is regularly bombarded by Carlos’ announcements as he continually reports the departure times for kayaking and glass bottom boats throughout the morning. Normally you can turn down the volume or turn off the speaker. Not when “Radio Carlos” broadcasts. No way to avoid it.

The Shore Landings
Morning shore excursions usually depart at 8 a.m. and arrive back between 10:30 and 11:30 for lunch, which is at 12:30. Typically, the ship moves to a new location during lunch for a second shore landing. Our blogs occasionally cover both landings but most often concentrate on only one. Why? Because the walks may be so similar that describing one is enough. A more pressing reason: as we write these posts, we’re preparing to leave for New Zealand.

Snorkeling
At the beginning of the week, the naturalists help everyone select a properly-sized shortie wetsuit, a pair of fins and a correctly-fitted mask with snorkel. If you’ve never snorkeled much before, take advantage of the offered training before tackling the deep water snorkel outings. For deep water snorkeling, getting back in the boat is easy. The Zodiacs mount a removable set of stairs on their bows, a trouble-free way for getting in and out of the water. If you prefer, you can always leave the boat using a traditional backflip.

Lindblad snorkel boat-1            Snorkelers in a Zodiac outfitted with stairs to make getting in and out easy.

Galapagos water temperatures are chilly much of the year, sometimes plunging as low as the mid-50’s. The coldest water temperatures on our trip range from a low of 68 F to a high of 72 F. The water temperatures of each location usually are announced ahead of time so snorkelers can back out before getting wet. Even 72 F is a bit brisk for some of us with only a shortie. Back home, Florida’s fresh water springs average 72 F year-round, temps that require a full wet suit for scuba divers.

Those nippy water temperatures can be a relief when air temperatures reach 90 F and above, something you’re not apt to experiences in the Galapagos. On the other hand, those who were raised in colder climates consider the water temps to be “just like back home.” It’s a matter of personal fortitude; or an individual’s background and how close to the Arctic Circle they were raised.

Perhaps the comments at dinner by one woman snorkeler summed it up well for those accustomed to warmer conditions: “I turned on the shower as hot as it would go and I still couldn’t stop shaking.” That’s someone who hung in there too long, possibly risking hypothermia.

The combination of cold water with rough water can become unpleasant after a time. Not to worry. Zodiacs with their special stairs are available to pick up anyone who’s had more fun than they can stand.
  Lindblad sea lion making a shark fin-1                          Here’s a sight to catch snorkelers’ attention: a shark fin!!? 
                          No, a  swimming sea lion just having fun.

Lindblad Endeavour Galapagos Cruise Links

The Galapagos Experience                                       Endeavour Dining 
Galapagos Adventure Upcoming                            Sustainable Dining Policy
How Darwin Saved The Galapagos                         Saturday Dining Menus
Galapagos Photo Tips                                                  Sunday Dining Menus
What To Pack For Cruise                                           Monday Dining Menus
Getting to Guayaquil                                                    Tuesday Dining Menus
Las Bachas Shore Landing                                         Wednesday Dining Menus
North Seymour Shore Landing                                Thursday Dining Menus
Fernandina & Isabela Islands                                  Friday Finale Menus
Urbina Bay Shore Landing                                         Endeavour Recipes
Life Aboard The Endeavour
More About Life On Board
Puerto Egas Shore Landing
Endeavour’s Floating SPA
Meeting One of World’s Rarest Animals
Puerto Ayoro Walking Tour
Santa Cruz Highlands Tour
Hunting Tortoises in the Santa Cruz Highlands
San Cristobal, Endeavour’s final stop

Lindblad Endeavour Calls at Fernandina and Isabela Islands

 

Fernandina iguana party-1

Fernandina, Island of Iguanas

During the night, Lindblad’s National Geographic Endeavour crosses the equator to take us into the westernmost section of the Galapagos where the undersea upwelling creates cool water temperatures as low as the mid-50’s F. This cold water provides a rich marine smorgasbord for the sea lions, marine iguanas and flightless cormorants residing in the region.

Our first landing of the day is on Fernandina Island, at one of the Galapagos’ best-known sites: Punta Espinosa, a narrow stretch of land and lava rock almost guaranteed to have a large concentration of animals, particularly marine iguanas. Darwin may have considered them hideous, but seen close-up, through a camera lens, their faces become captivating, almost appealing in a grotesque way; they certainly have character .

Fernandina Island, considered the youngest of all the Galapagos Islands, is still lively with volcanic activity. The last eruption here was in 2009, when the southern flank of the La Cumbre volcano had a fissure eruption that generated flows lasting for several hours. La Cumbre is considered among the Galapagos’ most active volcanoes, with eruptions in 2005 as well as 2009. Successive lava flows from the volcano have streaked the island in black, making this one of the most inhospitable islands for animal life living away from the shore. Because no animals were ever introduced, some consider Fernandina to be the largest, most pristine island remaining in the world.

Le_Cumbre_volcanic _plune_2009          This NASA satellite photo shows the volcanic plume from the 2009 eruption
of La Cumbre on Fernandina Island. The tiny section marked in red shows    where unusually hot surface temperatures were detected.

From the Endeavour, Fernandina and its 5,000-foot volcano are an imposing sight. They become even more impressive as our Zodiac draws close, winding through a lava canal that leads to another over the bow scramble to stand on lava rock. This time I realize the Zodiac’s netting is not only to protect the rubber boat but also to provide us better traction when wave splashes slicken the bow.

Despite the thick lava crust bordering the shoreline, the National Park Service has managed to place posts in the rock to mark off a nature trail. We need the trail to guide us, too, because the dark lava rock is littered with black marine iguanas almost everywhere. When the animals are bunched up in groups of 20-50 animals, they’re easy to step around. It’s the stray animals (seeking solitude?) that demand careful attention while walking the path. Anyone who stops spotting to view what’s ahead–or where they intend to step next–is likely to find a marine iguana underfoot.

Fernandina Island iguanas everywhere-1

Our naturalist, Jeffo Marquez, says all these iguanas are males which are hanging together like best friends, partly to increase their body warmth. But when the mating season begins, he says all the buddy-buddy get-togethers abruptly end and it’s every male for itself as they compete for a female. Sounds like a familiar ritual.

We come upon a female sea lion reclining on the hard lava rock as her pup suckles. It’s a surprisingly noisy process that we can hear over the waves. Jeffo z points out how a sea lion mother will never nurse another pup, even one that’s been abandoned and starving. It’s already hard enough for a mother to find enough food to nourish her own, which she nurses from six to 12 months.

Fernandina Island pup being chased away-1

This is not puppy love.  This is war.

Just as Jeffo ends sharing this tidbit of knowledge, two sleek and healthy sea lion pups, apparently drawn by all the nursing pup’s slurping sounds, suddenly appear from behind some rocks and quickly flipper-walk toward the nursing mother. She raises her head to issue a loud roar at them. That alerts her pup, which scrambles around to face the first aggressor. To protect his own feeding rights, the pup barks at the newcomer and aggressively nudges at it, attempting to drive away. The second interloper keeps its distance, seemingly unsure what to do. Finally the intruder sees this claim jumping isn’t going to succeed. It turns away and retreats, with its buddy close behind. The two come in our direction, realize we have nothing to offer, then plop down on the lava rocks. Excitement over.

“I love it when nature proves my point!” Jeffo exclaims.

whale skeleton Fernandina-1  lava cactus -1
Whale bones on display at Fernandina Island; lava cactus


Isabela Island Zodiac Ride

Isabela Endeavour-1

In the afternoon, we cross the Bolivar Channel to anchor near Punta Vincente Roca at the southern end of Isabela Island. A mid-afternoon Zodiac tour passing close to Isabela’s high rocky cliffs should show us the famous Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants, sea turtles and the ubiquitous marine iguanas. However, the rough seas make this an unusually exciting outing and a challenging one for photography. That’s unfortunate because all the critters are present, including numerous sea turtles and several penguins that swim within yards of us. The motion of the bouncing boat is compounded by the deeply shaded area where most of the animals are hanging out; the angle of the sun would have been much better in the morning but the Endeavour has to follow the schedule given to it by the National Park. It’s disappointing to imagine the images that might have been.

Isabela Zodiac ride-1
Having an action-packed time in the waves off Isabela.

Later this afternoon, just before sunset, we’re scheduled to recross the equator. This time we’ll be able to celebrate the occasion, unlike last night when we slept through it. To mark the event, a bar with snacks is set up on the foredeck in front of the bridge.

Many of us assemble there or on the Endeavour’s bow to view Isabela’s amazing geologic formations. Isabela, at 62 miles (100 km) long, is the largest island in the Galapagos. It also is located near the “Galapagos hot spot,” an area where magma pushes through the ocean floor crust but quickly cools underwater to form a gentle sloping formation. As more magma is propelled from the hot spot, the slope keeps building until it reaches sea level and creates an island.

Isabela, considered among the youngest islands here at only one million years old, was formed by the merger of six “shield volcanoes,” so-named because of their large size and their low profile. Those two characteristics combine to resemble a classic warrior’s shield. The last eruption on Isabela took place in October, 2005; the eruption on Fernandina that same year was in May. An estimated 60 eruptions have occurred in the Galapagos over the past 200 years.

Isabela volcanic cone c-1
The cone of a shield volcano at Isabela Island.

As we continue to enjoy spectacular views of Isabela’s dramatic coastline, Endeavour expedition leader, Carlos Romero, announces all passengers should come on deck if they want to see the line when we cross the equator. Linda and I look at each other, wondering what is planned to create the famed but invisible equatorial line. We move to the ship’s upper deck for a better view.

Two naturalists, one wearing an Egyptian headdress, appear on the foredeck to unfurl a wide ribbon carrying yellow, red and blue stripes that match those of the Ecuadorian flag. Carlos starts a count-down to the moment the ship reaches the proper coordinates, then invites everyone “to cross the equatorial line.” People hesitate, wondering if the naturalists will decide to lower their equatorial line from shoulder level to knee level, which would demand some limbo action to squeeze under it. But the equatorial line stays stable at shoulder-height.

Isabela crossing the equator line-1
Crossing the line at the equator.

I decide to bolt from the upper deck to join in the line crossing. Linda follows but, being more petite and less pushy, falls behind. It’s a good thing one of us is at the equatorial line because Carlos is waving a single certificate marking this historic passage–and the certificate has Linda’s name on it.

Carlos calls me over to take her place. As he hands me the official-looking document signed by the ship’s captain, he tells everyone “And all of you will receive one!” His announcement prompts cheering and applause from all the passengers. Linda then shows up, just in time to take a photo of me holding her certificate.

This “ceremony” was unexpected and it was fun. But soon everyone’s attention moves to the horizon where the sun is about to set. And it’s going to be a pretty one.

Tonight, the Endeavour will almost circumnavigate Isabella to take us to locations many smaller ships don’t have the speed to reach for a normal seven-day Galapagos cruise. We’re especially looking forward to the first stop at Urbina Bay. We’ve been told about a section of coral reef that was moved almost a half-mile inland following a major upheaval in 1954. Just so something similar doesn’t happen tomorrow while we’re on land.

Galapagos Full Moon Lindblad National Geographic Endeavour
The moon rises over Isabela Island.

 Lindblad Endeavour Galapagos Cruise Links

The Galapagos Experience                                            Endeavour Dining
Galapagos Adventure Upcoming                                Sustainable Dining Policy
How Darwin Saved The Galapagos                            Saturday Dining Menus
Galapagos Photo Tips                                                     Sunday Dining Menus
What To Pack For Cruise                                               Monday Dining Menus
Getting to Guayaquil                                                       Tuesday Dining Menus
Las Bachas Shore Landing                                            Wednesday Dining Menus
North Seymour Shore Landing                                    Thursday Dining Menus
Fernandina & Isabela Islands                                     Friday Finale Menus
Urbina Bay Shore Landing                                            Endeavour Recipes
Life Aboard The Endeavour
More About Life On Board
Puerto Egas Shore Landing
Endeavour’s Floating SPA
Meeting One of World’s Rarest Animals
Puerto Ayoro Walking Tour
Santa Cruz Highlands Tour
Hunting Tortoises in the Santa Cruz Highlands
San Cristobal, Endeavour’s final stop