Galapagos Islands

March 4-March 15 2022

The Galapagos Islands are a volcanic archipelago 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador. Composed of 3 main islands Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Isabela , countless small islands and large rocks. They offer some of the world’s best diving and diverse animal life both above and below the water.

Darwin helped the Galapagos achieve notoriety in his epic book ”On the Origin of Species” where he proposed the now scientifically accepted theory of evolution. They were named after the spanish word for turtle, Galapagos, as the Galapagos turtle is the now famous large land turtle. These islands, owned by Ecuador, sit at the northern end of the Humboldt current which bring massive amounts of cold water from Antartica filled with nutrients feeding an enormous population of sea-life. The Humboldt dictates the weather and is responsible for the distinct endemic species including giant land turtles, finches, flightless cormorants as well as the Galapagos lava lizard and marine iguanas.

The Galapagos islands just south of the equator
Sealions everywhere

No fuel docks in the Galapagos

I have been to Galapagos in 2019 and was interested to see the changes and show Gail these unique islands. Everyday, 1 or 2 tours , dives and island exploration. Hiking and swimming is how to know these islands best so everyday we hiked or biked for miles, snorkeled or dove. We spent 3 days exploring Isabela the newest, largest and least populated of all the islands. Isabela, an arid volcanic island having had 2 volcanic eruptions within the last 50 years. We took a tour up through the volcano, a 10 mile hike, in blistering heat, biked to the ”Wall of Tears”and snorkeled through the lava tubes. The rest of our week was filled diving North Seymour, where we swam with hammerhead sharks, climbing Bartolome’s peak above pinnacle rock and swimming next to Galápagos penguins.

Sierra Negro ,the world’s largest volcanic caldron, 16 Km wide
Repeated eruptions with vegetation starting to grow back on new lava within 5 years
Wall of Tears on Isabela, a memorial to the Ecuadorian political prisoners in the 40’s and 50’s. I was “crying” after a long hot bike ride to get here
The heat wasn’t bothering this Galapagos turtle. They are everywhere.We encountered these turtles nearly everyday on routine walks . Sailors of yesteryear would catch these guys ,load them on their boats and use them for food weeks and months later as they needed no food or water to survive.
Land Lizards are yellow and don’t swim
Sea Iguanas are black and do swim
Pinnacle rock on Bartolome Is
A pod of 20-30 pilot whales on our trip to Bartolome Is

Santa Cruz ,the main island, has grown significantly since I was here 3 years ago. Many new restaurants and sports bars have sprouted up and what used to be a sleepy town has embraced the 21st century. Nights were filled with dinners out getting to know our new friends on the Oyster rally.

Birthday party for Dominic with Oyster friends

Soon it was time to put Gail back on her plane to Reno . We are starting to develop a routine where she pops in for 1-2 weeks and pops out for 3-6 weeks to care for her medical practice. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” but each time it is getting harder to see her go.

Picking up the vegies with Daniela

No time to be maudlin. Rather it is time to prepare for the Marquesas , the longest passage of our trip, 3000 miles southwest. Our latest crew member, Adrian Nadic, flew in from Cape Town,SA to join us on the leg to Tahiti. Adrian is a high energy, funny, professional photographer who splits his time between Paris and Cape Town. He had sailed with Fabian in the Clipper race but has never sailed the south Pacific . We are glad to have him join Infinity and he is super excited to be joining us on this leg.

See you in the ”South Pacific”.

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