Location: Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, Galapagos

First morning in Galapagos! Wooohooo!! The sunrise was everything we expected from the most magical place in the world, and before breakfast was over, a shark had already popped up close to the stern of Argo. We went right into BA (boat appreciation) and cleaned every nook and cranny with a multitude of cleaning products and supplies. We got divided into teams on deck and down below. Una and Sam climbed up the mast and put up the sail covers. Frankie, Renee, and Riley cleaned, scrubbed, and freshened up the heads and left them looking (and smelling) better than ever. Izzy and I took down the jacklinesthat we use for clipping into the sides of the boats at night while underwayand cleaned them by soaking them in a big bucket and stomping on them as if they were berries. All this happened while sea lions, turtles, sharks, and schools of fish hung out all around the boat. It was hard to take our eyes off the ocean, and all day there were people sitting on the deck just looking out into the waves waiting for a fin to appear in the distance. We also saw a cute little baby hammerhead shark literally surfing the waves, and it was just soooo cute and tiny, and it was so fast, and oh my god, we’re in Galapagos this is the best day ever and hammerhead sharks surfing waves is just a normal thing here? like what??

Anyways, we finished BA just before lunch, which was mac and cheese, and before starting cleanup, we went for a swim! We stayed on the starboard side of Argo because there were water taxis, and we wanted to stay safe, but horizontal limits were the extent of our restraints; with snorkels and fins, we dove down, seeking to touch the ocean floor. Some of us made it the whole 40ft down, and there were lobsters and rocks. I remember coming up after diving down and just seeing everyone swimming forwards towards the bowsprit, and the moment I heard someone yell “SHARK,” I joined the herd. We swam about 20ft, and at first, I didn’t see anything, but all of a sudden, I saw the shark’s tail in the middle of a school of fish. It was swimming in a moon-like shape around us, maybe curious at first. The way it moved was majestic and terrifying at the same time, like a dance where you couldn’t predict the next movement. After a couple of minutes, we decided to swim back to the boat because we wanted to be respectful of the shark’s space.

After a marine biology class, we had deck showers, followed by some free time and then dinner. My squeeze question was, “What is your earliest recollection of passion?”. Everyone then answered with their stories about childhood memories of rock collections, digging for dinosaur bones, reading, gardening, etc. We all then noticed that we hadn’t had a single meal today that wasn’t interrupted by an unexpected appearance coming from the water, which is so cool!!! We went right into cleanup and had leadership class after, where we did an activity that involved using black and white postcards as tools to share some of our ideas and feeling with the group.

Bella’s having the time of her life laminating the new anchor watch wheel next to me while I write on the chart house computer. Oh, maybe it’s sideways. Yup, it’s a little crooked. Laminating is cool and underrated.

The chefs and sous chefs are in the galley making tomorrow’s zucchini bread for breakfast and planning a packed lunch for our excursion tomorrow!!

Gillian making bread
Underwater group pic
Some funny fishes
Mac and Felipe exploring the depths
Thea and Nat climbing down the ocean ladder
The shark!!