Galapagos – The Islands That Changed the World!
In 1831 Charles Darwin arrived in the Galapagos onboard HMS Beagle as a companion to the captain. While he was there he noticed, at first, small differences in the mocking birds between different islands. This led him to write his notebook on evolution, which he had seen at first hand in the Galapagos and believed it had taken place in all living things, including humans. This changed the worldview of life on earth and made these islands famous.
Since the start of this world trip the Galapagos Islands have certainly been one of the main island groups which I looked forward to seeing the most and wow did it live up to the expectation!!!! We had the most amazing week exploring this stunning archipelago thanks to Eddie, Marie and our guide, Gustavo.
We were hugely privileged to have Gustavo guide us around the Galapagos for the week and bring us to some awesome anchorages, which the majority of tourists and sailors are restricted from going. The passing sailor is only granted permission to stay in a couple of the main ports and then take local tours from there, they can’t just cruise freely between the islands like pretty much everywhere else on earth.
The reason for the restrictions is due to the fact that over the years the influx of tourists has exerted huge pressure on the islands ecosystems and threatened damage to the very situation we all seek to experience.
Over the course of the week we saw everything from Darwin’s’ finches, blue footed boobies, giant tortoise to frigate birds, hawks and Iguanas. We snorkeled with fur seals, sea loins, turtles, white tip reef sharks, penguins, rays and a whole heap of stunning tropical fish. One night at anchorage we had 4 massive Galapagos sharks circling the yacht!! Full on!!
The most fun we had was watching the male frigate birds trying to impress the females as they passed overhead. Cooing and warbling loudly, they inflate their bright red air sacs, the size of a balloon, while vibrating their outstretched wings. Needles to say the females weren’t giving them much attention… come on lads ye have to work a bit harder than that to win any female species over!!! And the blue footed boobies.. they’re gas. they do this fancy dance, lifting their large blue feet and wings in the air to get the females attention.. if the female copies him she’s keen if not. hard luck chaps.. ye’ll have to try harder next time!
In a few sentences here I could never impress on you what an enchanted week we had among this stunning volcanic islands. It truly is a majestic place both ashore and underwater. A place of unparalleled surprises, both for the mind and the senses and memories of which we will all cherish forever more. And with this in mind the following quote is very apt..
‘Life is not about the amount of breaths you take,
it’s the moments that take you’re breath away’
…we certainly had plenty of moments in the Galapagos
Warm wishes to all back home,
PS We crossed the equator on the way to the Galapagos and did all the various challenges to gain our rite of passage and become true ‘shellbacks’ according to traditions. We’ve posted some of the pics etc on our facebook page so do check it out if you’re keen to learn more.