Month: July 2018

The Hunger Games

July 4, 2018 – day 6, lunch and more ship info

We never went hungry, despite the title of this post. And, we never had to battle for our food. We did wait in a buffet line for breakfast and dinner, but with only 48 passengers on board, the line didn’t take long. Plus it was a good time to socialize.

First, a few more photos of the ship.  This is the lounge on Deck 3.  This is where we met for Naturalist Talks and other briefings.  By the end of the trip, there were lots of card games taking place.


Lou navigates the stairs from Deck 3 – to Deck 2 (where all the staterooms are located) -to Deck 1 (reception, ship’s store, life jackets, and dining room). This wasn’t his (or my) favorite part of the trip, but he did really well and figured it made up for missing physical therapy. He used his cane as a precaution, but was quite good at navigating without it.


Oscar was the Hospitality Manager, and he took care of all the customer questions and details. He also gave us each a password for one device, but the internet was very very slow.  This made it possible to check emails, but provided a barrier to some people spending too much time thinking about work!


The ship’s store had a surprisingly good selection of stuff you might need, as well as souvenier clothing, jewelry, and artwork.


Life jackets were stored by the door we generally used to board the Pangas.  The crew was strict about safety protocols, and life jackets were a must. The ship also provided walking sticks.


Now to the good stuff. Food.  The feature for today’s lunch was grouper. It was apparently very good (I tend to avoid food that looks back at me).  As usual, lots of desserts, and many optional selections. The fried chicken was tasty, and the rice and beans hit the spot. 







Disclaimer: these desserts were arranged strictly for the photo, and were certainly not consumed by one person!

As you can see, we never went hungry!  After this feast, we had only a short downtime, as there were two more activities scheduled for the afternoon.

Click HERE to see the afternoon’s adventure.

More Floreana -Water Sports Day

July 4, 2018 – Day 6, splish splash at the beach on Floreana Island

We had a relaxing couple of hours to swim, snorkel, kayak, paddle board, or just lounge on the beach. It was a great way to spend part of our 4th of July holiday. 




Catherine found a kayak partner, and they did well together.




This was not an attempt to get artsy  I reminded myself I wanted to get some shots of the colorful water and our fellow passengers enjoying themselves. Upon downloading this series of photos, I realized I had accidentally switched the camera to monotone … duh .


Catherine snapped a few shots of fun in the water:




We didn’t see a lot of wildlife at the beach – just some crabs and sea lions.


The lone paddle boarder … I’m guessing this is one activity that made Olivia miss her sister, Victoria.  The two of them had a blast on paddle boards on our Alaska trip -taking turns dunking each other in the cold water.  (Victoria was originally scheduled to come on the trip, but had to cancel when her Volleyball Team made the junior national tournament in Detroit, Michigan. Catherine reluctantly agreed to take Victoria’s spot)


We headed back to the ship, just in time for lunch. 

Click HERE to see what’s for lunch.

Floreana Island -A Most Unusual Post Office

July 4, 2018 – day 6, the first adventure

We woke up to a beautiful morning and set off right after breakfast for a wet landing on Floreana Island. We were going to visit a “post office”established in the early 1800s.  Whalers devised a system where they would drop letters in a barrel, hoping those from other ships would stop and pick them up for delivery. 






We were all encouraged to write postcards for delivery by future visitors.  Fernanda retrieved postcards deposited by previous adventurers, and it seemed Many people addressed the postcard to themselves (which makes sense, if you think about it).



Volunteers, including Olivia and Claudia, read off the addresses of the postcards waiting for us.  It is considered cheating to take a postcard and mail it to the recipient – the spirit of the “game” is to hand deliver the postcard if at all possible. We had a good time sorting out who might be able to deliver the various postcards.



Olivia poses with the postcard she chose – she picked a postcard from Santa Barbara, thinking that was a good destination for a road trip.  There were almost no postcards from places like Los Angeles or Orange County, California.  We assumed those were readily picked up by other cruisers.






After a fun time collecting postcards, we loaded back up into the Pangas for a short ride to another location on Floreana. It was a beautiful day for water activities. 

Click HERE for more Floreana.

Baby Booby Playing with a Stick

Hello Friends.  Claudia made this sweet video, and is sharing with us. She is working on some more stuff  but I wanted to test to make sure the videos are loading and playing properly.  Please let me know if this works ok for you.  Thanks!



Click HERE to go to the Post Office.

Lunch at the Finch Bay Galapagos Resort & a City Tour

July 3,2018 – Lunch at Finch Bay 

Our busses dropped us back at the dock, where we had just a short Panga ride to get to the Resort. While waiting for our ride, we watched a little sea lion and his mother put on quite a show. The Mom hopped up on the platform, and junior tried every which way he could, but couldn’t quite make it up. Finally, he succeeded, and then he literally dove into Mom for some lunch. 


There were quite a few boats anchored around the Port, as this is the starting point for many tours of the islands. 


Water taxis …


We had to walk about 10 minutes once we landed to get to the Resort. We all made it, even those of us who were not so agile. We saw more Marine Iguanas, some swimmers, and lots of tourists along the way. 


We we were told to make ourselves at home and enjoy the bar and the pool. We were also served a nice lunch.  


Lou had a mojito, and I had a refreshing gin and tonic. We had to be careful to avoid blocking the tv screen, because the World Cup was on. 


After lunch, some took a refreshing swim, and the rest of us lounged around. There might have been some napping involved. 



Our expedition guides and ship’s physician psyching themselves up for the rest of the day’s activities:


This was a pleasant respite, but it was soon time to head back into the town for shopping or a City Tour. Lou and I chose to take the City Tour.  It was difficult to take photos from the bus, but we both found the tour very interesting. One of our expedition guides who lived in the city, gave an informative tour. It wasn’t just what we saw, but his description of political, cultural, and infrastructure issues that made the tour interesting. 

Olivia shared a drink from her giant fresh coconut before we left on our bus  






This is the M/V National Geographic Endeavor II … it also comes highly recommended.  This ship is larger than The one we were on, with about 100 passengers.


Back on La Pinta, we sampled the drink of the day. We had had a very full day, and finished up with a buffet dinner before calling it an early night. 

Click HERE to see what happens next …

Climbing to the Highlands to See More Giant Tortoises

July 3, 2018 – Day 5 continues

While waiting for our transportation out of the Darwin Research Center, we had a cold drink and visited with Nancy. We walked a short distance and had the chance to visit a small outdoor market  



The rest of the group caught up with our VIP tour, and we all boarded comfortable busses for a 45 min drive up to the highlands. Our destination was Rancho El Manzanillo, a private ranch that allows tours to see Giant Tortoises in the wild. They also have a nice open air restaurant, and a gift shop that is operated in cooperation with the Darwin Research Center. 


(Photo source: El Rancho Facebook Page)

The hiking trails were fairly easy, and well covered by shade trees, which was welcomed in the high humidity.  Giant Tortoises were all around. Look closely and you can see the Tortoises ahead on the trail. They were also in the fields to the right and left.







Taking advantage of a buddy to provide a pillow –





Have a look at the Giant Tortoises on the road … we had to stop the bus several times to wait for crossing traffic. 


It was time for lunch, but first we had to make our way back to the dock with another bus ride down the hill. 

Click HERE to … I’m going to lose my mind if I type Click Here one more time … just kidding, Click HERE now, or else!