I am a very lucky guy. The experience of the last week is still sinking in.
First, I get out of a contract from what was to be a terrible cruise. Then I spend a week on a cruise that is definitely on the “Top 10 best weeks of my life” list. Maybe it was meant to be.
Every day, we would eat wonderful buffet breakfasts, lunches, and a 3-course dinner. We would go on hikes on islands, see wildlife everywhere, learn about them and their environment from Vicki, our guide, go snorkeling with Galapagos sea lions, sea turtles, marine iguanas, and penguins (they were really swimming all around us, drawn with curiosity and playfulness), have coffee and drinks on top of the ship deck, watching the sunset over cloud-covered volcanoes.
Some of the highlights:
- Watching frigate birds nesting and mating and hunting
- Watching blue-footed boobies in their mating rituals, then later diving into the ocean like kamikazes as they go “spear-fishing”
- Having baby sea lions crawling toward us, wanting to play
- Seeing hundreds of lazy marine iguanas lying in the sun, “spitting” out excess salt water from their noses
- Snorkeling with sea turtles, sea lions, penguins
- Watching about at least a dozen Galapagos sharks and sea lions swimming around our ship, all competing for flying fish that happen to be drawn to the ships deck lights
- Seeing two old Galapagos giant tortoises fight, seeing two tortoises mate
- Seeing grumpy giant land iguanas take shelter from the searing heat
- Leaving my post card in Post Office Bay on Floreana Island, hoping that one day, a kind soul that lives near me will return it to me by hand (in return, I took 2 cards, which I will hand deliver in TX to those who left theirs in their past cruises)
- Seeing a heron stalk sea turtle nests, then capturing a baby sea turtle hatching and proceeding to swallow it
- Looking up into the dark sky and seeing hundreds of thousands of stars
- Making some wonderful new friends, which really made the cruise so much fun
Overall, I hope memories like these are seared into my mind forever. I hope readers will enjoy my pictures as I have enjoyed taking and re-viewing them.
Oh yeah, I accidentally stepped in sea lion shit.