Location: San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands, Equador

Another quality day here this time in a new time zone and country. We reached the Galapagos and are now moored just off San Cristobal. We had a sleep-in morning, which was ended at 9:30 when it seemed like the whole Ecuadorian Navy and their Aunts came aboard for a “routine” customs inspection. Needless to say, the drug sniffer, hull cleanliness dive official, and their Aunt’s were quite satisfied. So much so that the main immigration officer had me stop mid handing over my passport so he could look super official and have his buddy snap a photo of him. Nice people, all needed? Nah. Anyways, we had shore time in the afternoon. About half the boat stayed in town, and the other half, including me, took a 15-minute walk through a national park to a cove where we did some snorkeling. It was pretty awesome. Lots of big parrotfish, playful and inquisitive sea lions that came swimming by us, and I got to follow a green sea turtle around for a half-hour or so. It was truly magical from start till end, further evidenced by a young seal crawling out of the water as we were leaving and blocking the path if as if he resented our departure. We barked our goodbyes and got on our way. The rock paper scissors came in at the end of the squeeze. The game was everyone v. everyone, and when you lost, you began cheering on the person that beat you. By the end, we had half the boat cheering on either side of Xander and Ben H.C. It was pretty cool to see everyone bring their enthusiasm and spirit to the table. All in all, one of the best days I’ve had. Really looking forward to diving a deep-water wall tomorrow. Hopefully, we’ll see some sharks!

Note to the family:

Griffster, Love you, man. I really appreciated the email you sent me when you guys were skiing. I hope everything’s going well. Keep up the good behavior. I’m proud of you!

Spencer, I don’t know how your tournament went, but I want you to know I thought of you a lot. I’m sure you did awesomely, and I’m really proud of all the work you’ve been putting in this year both academically and in wrestling. I love you so much.

Sharlene, Im really glad I got to say hi to you in Panama. Glad schools are going well. Can’t wait to get back and catch up more! Love you!

Mom, Dad, Papa, Noni, Grandma, Grandpa – Love you all! But this word count is killer.

Peace out from the Galapagos,

Riley Jay Dow

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