• 10 days
  • Explore by Zodiac, kayak, snorkeling, and hiking with a team of naturalists aboard the National Geographic Endeavour or Islander

Field Notes


What's it like to travel with National Geographic? Take a look at these reports from the field.

By Carlos Romero
April 28, 2009

Wonderful! Great! Brilliant! These words cannot fully describe the marvelous event we just witnessed. On the maiden voyage of the National Geographic Endeavour to the Galápagos Islands, we had the unusual privilege to observe a volcanic eruption.

Fernandina Island, the youngest island of the volcanic Galápagos archipelago, started erupting just a couple of weeks ago--on April 11. Since we set foot on the ship last Saturday, we have all been waiting to come to this remote location to be part of this phenomenal event. Wow! What an unforgettable experience it was.

It was just after sunset when we saw the first signs of volcanic activity. There were fiery reflections in the clouds in the distance, and we could feel the proximity of an event of a lifetime. Our hearts were pounding faster and faster. At one point we were less than three nautical miles from volcanic material that was exposed to the air. Mother Nature was proving to us through this eruption how indescribable her strength is and how humble we should feel watching her power. For eternal moments we contemplated this fantastic volcanic event.

Today I deeply feel how an expedition can change peoples’ lives. For years to come, we will have a great story to tell. At the moment I am writing this report it is quite late; some hours have passed, but I still have a lot of adrenaline running to my brain. On days like the one we just had, it feels great just to be alive, to be able to tell everybody about such an unforgettable event. The exaltation, excitement, and passion we felt will stay in our hearts and minds forever.

Note: Naturalist Carlos Romero is a native of Ecuador who frequently accompanies our expeditions to Galápagos.