Bartolome, Galapogos

The next morning we wake early to take our first excursion. We leave the boat at 6:30 am for a walk (actually 388 steps) on Bartolome up to the top of the island. This island also has one the most famous landmarks in the Galapagos Islands…Pinnacle Rock! It really is beautiful and we have the first of many lessons about the Galapagos and the volcanic activity. Back to the ship for breakfast before our first snorkeling excursion. We snorkeled from a beach….it was really wonderful. I felt like I was swimming around in our aquarium at home. So many coral reefs and schools of fish. There were stingrays, parrot fish, puffers and corals….the list goes on and on. I am really happy to have my 3 mm wet suit. We are well prepared and really enjoyed the dive.

Once aboard we take off our wet-suits and wash them in several baths of water and hang them to dry. There is a pot of hot chocolate waiting for us which Gianluca loves. From there we get into the Jacuzzi/hot tub which happens to be on our deck….lovely! It will become a favorite way to end the day for us or to end a snorkeling excursion. In the Jacuzzi we have met a mom and daughter from Seattle (Sophia is the same age as Gianluca and is very sweet). We also have met Abraham who is here with his family from Mexico City. A really nice man and is particularly sweet with Gianluca…and Terrence from Vancouver who is here with his wife and parents…….it’s all happening in the hot tub!

The ship offers several different levels of difficulty for the activities. The range from easy to difficult is pretty narrow. If you don’t want to snorkel for instance you can ride in a glass bottom boat. The guidelines for touring are very specific. There can only be so many snorkelers, or kayakers, or zodiacs at any one given times. Some excursions we have to sign up for but have never had a problem partaking in the activity that is our top preference.

After lunch and snorkeling Steven and Gianluca go Kayaking! It was very windy so Steven was a bit skeptical…but after learning they would be traveling with the wind and current they decided to go. Gianluca and Steven were the star kayakers. After a few lessons, hints and demonstrations by Dad, Gianluca turned out to be a great paddling partner. Most people were having a hard time….a few bailed and had to be pulled out of the kayaks….others struggled along. When Gianluca came back he walked into our statement and exclaimed “that was great!!!!!”

Each evening at 1900 hours (7:00 pm) there is a briefing for the next day’s activities. I enjoy going to these. The current day is recapped and the next day’s activities are revealed. A part of me wishes we could know the activities a few days in advance…but it works. (If I asked they would let me know.) So each night we start talking about what we are going to do the next day. If is fun. Gianluca is at the age where he wants to do everything….it all sounds like fun and he is raring to go, which of course means that Steven and I are going to do everything as well. The only thing activity that Steven and GL do on their own is kayaking because it is a two person kayak and there is no way I would do that alone…..

Following the briefing at 7:00 we are ready for dinner. This night we go to the grill which is an open restaurant on the aft of deck number 5. It was very windy. The unique twist to this restaurant is that you cook your own meet/fish/fowl on a hot brick which is delivered on a plate to each guest. It is accompanied by a baked potato and grilled vegetables. We get out there and it is pretty cold in the wind. Steven gallantly goes to get us jackets and coats and then we get smoked out from all of the various cooking plates of food. It is fun, hilarious and frustrating all at the same time! We did love it though. Nothing can compare to dining in the pitch black of the sea with the brilliant stars overhead. Full on pretty good food, wine and dessert we make our way back to our cabin for a good night’s sleep.

Overnight the ship will depart for another island and another wonderful adventure.