Location: Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristobal, Galapagos
Very few people every get the experience of visiting such a unique place as the Galapagos. I have been fortunate enough to have visited Puerto Baquerizo Moreno in San Cristobal, our current anchorage, once before as a scientific researcher but feel incredibly lucky to be back again. Today we experienced everything that Galapagos has to offer in its marine environment. We were shown exactly why these islands are so distinctive and why it is vital they remain protected.
In two dive boats, we set out for Kicker Rock or Leon Dormido; a formidable spit of rock two miles offshore that has been dramatically split down the middle. We dove between this cut as well as on a shelf overlooking open water. Lacking here were the bright corals and crystal clear turquoise blue water we had become accustomed to in the Caribbean. What was not missing was the sheer abundance of life. Hammerhead sharks, Galapagos sharks, black-tipped reef sharks, white-tipped sharks, eagle rays, stingrays, mantas, sea lions, and more sea turtles than you could count schooled around us above the wonderfully small, cryptically colored nudibranchs, urchins, and sea stars scattered across the bottom. It truly was a magical dive. Our boats also took us ashore for some time where we relaxed on a beach inaccessible by road and watched sea lions play in the rain.
Later, back onboard Argo, we reveled in what we had just seen. Thus far, we have been fortunate enough to visit some truly spectacular dive sites but this one stood out among the rest. As a teacher and lover of everything under the sea, I love experiencing dives like this for myself but get no greater joy than watching others fall in love with the sea and begin to appreciate what they have learned so far. Our post-dive reflections definitely showed me that this is the case with my students and I could not be prouder and Tinas two massive, marine-themed, chocolate cakes definitely didnt hurt the mood either.
Tomorrow we say goodbye to San Cristobal and begin our day passage to Santa Cruz leaving behind only bubbles and taking away the most treasured of memories.
Shout out to my dad and brothers! Tucker and Patrick, I am so proud of your success in your new jobs and cant wait to hear more about them after my long passage. Dad, Im thinking of you this weekend. I miss you all lotsa but definitely dont miss the cold and rainy weather!