Galapagos Islands: a photo essay

A note I wrote to myself in the Galapagos Islands:

Remember this. Remember sitting in a sun lounger at the end of a golden day, on the top deck of a yacht, laughing with new friends as the dusk begins to fall. Remember relaxing in the baking sun, reaching boiling point, and jumping off the back of the boat into the shimmering blue water below. Remember peering under the water and seeing a white-tipped reef shark swim right underneath you, and a fur seal gliding by just as you were starting to get tired.  Remember enjoying delicious meals every day with new friends as you swapped stories of the day’s events. Remember your first sight of a majestic sea turtle, the size of a coffee table. Remember golden sand as soft as mud, flecked with semi-precious stones and sparkling as the sun soared overhead. The swooshing of blue-footed boobies darting into the water in pursuit of fish, and bobbing up again moments later. Remember floating lazily in the sea, as if the whole wide beach was yours.

Remember the Galapagos hawks intent on catching a marine iguana, only to be thwarted when it ran out onto the hot sand and on into the sea; the sea lions lolling like puppies on the beach early in the morning, and Sally Lightfoot crabs the red and yellow of a child’s colouring book dancing and picking their way over and between the rocks. Remember frigate birds – the pirates of the islands – building their nests and inflating bright red breast pouches the size of basketballs to attract a mate. Remember laughing at the boobies; gliding silently with the hammerhead shark; trying not to trip over the iguanas.

Remember leaning back and wishing that the trip would never end, feeling the days stretch out forever, wanting that feeling to last. Remember sleepily being rocked back and forth by the gentle waves as the sun went down, and taking a moment to be grateful, for here you have truly had a glimpse of paradise.

Day 1: Baltra Island – Short tour of Baltra Island itself and meeting our shipmates for the next 8 days

Day 2 – AM: South Plazas Islands – 6am start to miss the rush hour of over 100 tourists turning up at 8am

Day 2 – PM: Santa Cruz Island – Mostly sealions!

Day 3: Española Island – More sealions, sealion impressions, marine iguanas, albatross mating dance & snorkeling fun!

Day 4: Floreana Island – Post Office Bay, deep water snorkelling off the back of the boat, the best beach in the world and arriving in Puerto Ayora watching the sunset from the bow of the boat.

*Underwater photos care of (and with permission of) Andreas Schwarz – THANKS!

Day 5: Santa Cruz Island – The Darwin Research Facility in Puerto Ayora, Pelican feeding time as fishermen sell their catch of the day & a visit to the Giant Tortoise reserve.

Day 6: Santiago Island – Renuinion with Doug & Suzanne, looking for fur seals & boat diving

Day 7: Bartolomé Island – Lava trails, snorkelling & a lone penguin

Day 8: North Seymour Isand – a 5:30am start – Blue Footed Boobies, Frigate birds & Galapagos Gulls

Our lovely crew and tour guide …

Come back soon…


5 thoughts on “Galapagos Islands: a photo essay

  1. Well done.The opening paragraph as was good as any in the photo stories in my wildlife magazines.Also the pictures, except maybe the seal impression which possibly belongs in another sort of publication. Tell James he makes a good hero in a half shell.


  2. How you manage to only have 5kg of stuff and still look so stylish is beyond me! You both look very healthy and happy. And those seals!!! you’re making me very excited for South America when our time comes!!! xxxxx

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