May 29, 2015

Lava Flows Enter the Ocean and Guests Celebrate!

Wolf Volcano, the Galapagos Island’s tallest volcano, has been erupting since 25th May, 2015. We have been witnessing and documenting the event extensively with the assessment of our Expedition Leaders. They report that in the early evening of 27th May, lava reached the shoreline, and Isabela Island, already the biggest of the Galápagos, started a new growth spurt.
When lava enters the water, the eruption changes in nature. For outside observers, the event goes wild because there’s action everywhere: lava flowing downhill, the fissure still indicating magma rising from the inside of the volcano, curious shapes of orange and red, sounds of boiling and burning, from time to time the winds even push some of the heat out in the ocean, and of course the huge clouds of water vapour dominate the landscape as hot lava boils the much colder water at supersonic speed. As this happens, lava turns into solid rock, and the island has grown in size. Forces of creation get to work immediately on this virgin territory.
In the early evening hours of May 28, Yacht Isabela II reached the shore at Wolf Volcano. Guests were extremely excited because the news spread widely since the beginning of the eruption. Our Expedition Staff, too, awaited the Isabela II’s arrival anxiously, not just to see the eruption, but to be able to share more of what makes these islands so impressive and unique with outside explorers. As our Captain reached the site and our landing craft was deployed, the sizzling noise of the very hot surface entering the water became audible. The heat became evident, and colours revealed a fantastic volcanic palette. The Isabela II spent about three hours right at the eruption site, allowing our guests to explore the site with immense adrenaline. On board, our guides lectured on geology to explain the behaviour of this leviathan, and we celebrated on deck with prickling bubbles of champagne.
The Santa Cruz is also at the eruption site. Arrival occurred near midnight and the vessel remained in the area until 02h00. Because there are deep waters here, the ship was able to get as close as 180m (600ft) from the coast. Our fleet has been on-site now for nearly a week in order to share with our guests the natural beauty of an eruption. The endemic pink land iguanas and giant tortoises that some media said were at risk are oblivious to the eruption, largely in part because they are found at opposite ends from where the eruption is. The 2015 Wolf Volcano 2015 is a fantastic natural event that continues as of today. Viva Galapagos!

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