Two Perspectives on Our Galapagos Journey
Leif – The early morning wake-up time made it hard to get out of bed, but it was extremely rewarding. We were told that there were 365 steps to the top of the volcano that we climbed; however, this became a huge debate over breakfast between fellow passengers. The view at the top of the climb was overwhelming. A 360-degree view at the summit provided breath-taking landscapes. Although it was just after 6 o'clock in the morning, clear conditions and substantial sunlight made it possible to see for miles. We saw white beaches, crystal-clear water, craters, lava tunnels, other volcanoes and lava cacti. I could see two other passenger yachts anchored next to the Millennium. Samuel told us earlier that an average of 5,000 tourists visit this volcano every week! During a breakfast of eggs, ham, cheese, fruit, cereal and yogurt on our ship's deck, we could see about 90 passengers from the other yachts rafting over to begin their climb to the top. At this point I realized how important our 5:30 AM wake-up really was. After breakfast and a short break to digest, we geared-up to go snorkeling off the Zodiac. This snorkeling experience was nothing short of amazing. I saw countless fish adorned with a plethora of majestic colors. I saw many schools of fish navigating around large, continuous lava rock in the clear tropical water. I saw seals diving into the water with remarkable gracefulness and darting around rocks and schools of fish. After an hour spent among this marine life, we climbed aboard the Zodiac to head back to our ship. Once we reached the Millennium there was a break before lunch. Not long after lunch our ship reached a refueling station to fill our diesel tanks. I spent this time reading on the deck of the ship, drenched in warm rays of sunshine. Once we had refueled and cruised to our next destination we set off in two groups to explore Black Turtle Cove on the Zodiac rafts. During this expedition we saw brown pelicans fervently searching the water for their next meal, these interesting birds frequently landed in the water to snatch fish with their large beaks. We also saw large sea turtles in a secluded area surrounded by various types of mangrove trees. The three turtles we saw were in a mating process. The two males would take turns mating with the female. We only were able to see them clearly for brief periods while they surfaced to breathe, but this rare sight was still incredible. On our way back, we saw a male and female blue-footed booby relaxing on a lava rock formation next to a pelican and a hand-full of motionless crabs. This was the first time I had seen the infamous blue-footed bird and its physical appearance surpassed my initial expectation. Shortly thereafter we ate dinner, although the ocean waves became rough and took many peoples' appetites. Samuel's informational session brought the day to a close.