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Issue #105, January 2004

1) Transition Months arrive to the Galapagos Islands
2) Glass-Bottom Boat in the Galapagos Islands
3) The Chief Naturalists of the Yacht Isabela II
4) Galapagos Last Minute News

1) Transition Months arrive to the Galapagos Islands: The Prelude to the Hot Season. In Galapagos, the first climate changes for this coming-up Hot Season have just arrived.

By the end of November we noticed that the southeast trade winds had consistently decreased their strength, and that the water temperature had increased an average of 1.5°C (4.5°F) over a 4-week period.

Currently, mornings start somewhat overcast, but it clears up shortly after, leaving clear skies and a refreshing breeze. Nights remain a bit fresh, but this will continue to change into warmer evenings as we reach the last days of the year.

These changes not only bring benefits to sun-worshipers, but to the local wildlife as well. Take the example of the Darwin Finches, that have started seeking mates through courtship. However, such behavioral changes have been triggered by the arrival of the first rains and the increase of relative humidity.

This is why Galapagos is never static, change is what rules here, and change will dictate survival. The majority of seabirds have paused their mating attributes and will wait for the arrival of more temperate subtropical waters, filled with nutrient-rich currents.

The Galapagos Islands will offer extraordinary days, full of unique experiences and lifetime memories.

Read More About Galapagos Weather

2) Glass-Bottom Boat in the Galapagos Islands: In Galapagos we have incorporated a new concept of exploring the Islands' ecosystems by focusing in educational experiences with high natural history content.

During 1998 and in 2000 we added aboard the M/V Santa Cruz and Yacht Isabela II, a new way of discovering the underwater world but for everyone: the Glass-Bottom Boat (a.k.a. GBB).

The reasons for appreciating the Galapagos marine world: Marine Reserve, Whale & Shark Sanctuary, and Natural Heritage for Mankind.

The boat we use is a former Boston Whaler and it was reconverted for such marine use, by designing two separate open chambers (glass bottom).

Some time ago, one of our guests described the glass-bottom boat experience as "the driest snorkeling ever experienced".

With great pleasure we will continue using this boat, an exclusive feature of Metropolitan Touring's Galapagos Expedition.

See More About Our Galapagos Island Trips

3) The Chief Naturalists of the Yacht Isabela II: The Galapagos Expedition aboard the Yacht Isabela II has two professionals, who with their guest-driven attitude, dedication, and great experience, guarantee our guests what our adventure delivers: an Expedition that is safe, educational and fun.

Alejandro Villa and Celso Montalvo are Naturalists who, besides leading groups ashore, have the high responsibility of commanding the Expedition.

Their permanent contact with the local authorities, on board Officers, and our offices in the mainland, allow them to generate out-of-the-ordinary operative standards which for our guests translate into rewarding experiences.

Alejandro is a Galapagueño, while Celso is a permanent Galapagos resident since 1998. They have both followed the strict training at the National Park Service, and their constant interest in knowing more about the natural world is evident in their daily explanations.

They are very keen in assessing the balance between environmental interpretation and conservation. Their passion for the Galapagos Islands is evident, their commitment to the Islands' future is remarkable, and we are glad to have them as heads of the Expedition Department of the Yacht Isabela II.

Learn More About Galapagos Naturalists

4) Galapagos Last Minute News: Secretary General for the United Nations Visits Galapagos. While exploring the Galapagos Islands, Mr. Kofi Annan was our guest of honor at Finch Bay Hotel. He was more than delighted with the Islands' natural beauty.

More About Galapagos & Ecuador

Galapagos Classification

Giant Galapagos Turtle

Galapagos Iguanas

Galapagos Islands Birds

Music of Ecuador

See you in the next issue of Galapagos Expedition and hoping you visit Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands in the near future.


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