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Galapagos Islands

Visiting the Galapagos Islands was an amazing adventure. I spent a week on an eight cabin catamaran and we were escorted to numerous sites in the islands. One benefit of being on a small vessel is that you spend no time getting to and from your daily excursion points. The vessel anchors right where you will be exploring and a dinghy is launched less than 5 minutes from your point of exploration. Each morning we were awakened at 6:00 am for breakfast with a 7:00 am departure. The daily activities usually started with a hike followed by a snorkel returning to the boat for lunch. The captain would occasionally move to another nearby bay during the early afternoon break. Afternoon activities included a snorkel and or hike from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm. We were back on board for dinner around 6:30 or 7:00 pm. We would travel to our next location as the sun was setting or during the night hours for a longer trek.

There are many misconceptions about the Galapagos islands. The most common misconception is that the islands are prehistoric because Darwin developed his theory of evolution and natural selection while studying in the Galapagos. Interestingly, the islands are relatively young and formed by volcanic action of the earth’s plates moving easterly over a hot spot that creates new islands as older ones drift east. What makes these islands so unique is the abundance of wildlife adapted to a harsh environment. There is no source of fresh water and many human endeavors in the Galapagos have failed due to the inability to grow food and find fresh drinking water. Admission to the area is tightly regulated. As a result of careful environmental management and limited tourism, the animals have no fear of humans and some, especially sea lions, will playfully interact with the visitors. The density of wildlife guarantees that you will have close contact with the wildlife. Having a 100mm – 400mm zoom lens gave me the opportunity to make some beautiful animal portraits.

The photos in this slideshow only show the land excursions. I did not have an underwater camera though I wish I did because the marine life is as extraordinary as the terrestrial life. I hope you enjoy the pictures. View them in full screen at high resolution if you have a good Internet connection.

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