Lindsay: The Galápagos Islands

I would really love to tell you about probably one of the best days of my life that happened during my Galápagos trip. The last day on our cruise was just extraordinary, and continues to make me smile when I think about it now. In the afternoon we took a panga boat near ChampionIsland to snorkel. The water reflected a beautiful blue and the sunlight shone through, making the water clear and easy to see what was below. We followed a current down the side of the island, and it seriously looked something out of Finding Nemo. There were colorful sea stars, schools and schools of brightly colored fish varying from little Mullets to large Parrotfish, penguins, and sea lions. The sea lions were so friendly it was difficult to keep the GalapagosNational Park requirement of six feet away. The marine life was absolutely phenomenal! After the best snorkeling I have ever done, my snorkeling group returned to our boat and we began to near our ship. As we approached the ship, two of my friends who had already returned yelled down to the panga “Lindsay! There are whales!” In order for you to appreciate how great this is you must first understand that I really, really love whales. I think they are such magnificent mammals and love how big and beautiful the different types are. In the Galápagos right now it is not whale season, and I knew that coming in; however, I was really hoping that a few did not get the migration memo, and I made sure to check the water periodically during the cruise. During the cruise they also said there was a channel where whales could be, only encouraging my search, and my friends teasing me for constantly watching the water (which was beautiful, and I would have done anyways). With that being said, I thought my friends were joking when they called down to the boat, but then our boat driver turned our boat and started towards where they were indicating from the deck. Our guide did not believe me when shouted as enthusiastic as a child on Christmas morning: “they’re Orcas!” but after watching them follow along the coast of the island of Floreana, they continued to demonstrate their beautiful white and black Orca markings. I still cannot believe how blessed I was to be on the panga at the right time to be able to go and see the whales up close. Not that I needed ANYTHING else to make the day any better, but my last day was so memorable. Later in the afternoon, a pod of dolphins graced us with their presence by passing the ship. At night, I finished packing early and went up to the deck and watched a shark come check out the lit area from the ship’s light, and as if I was writing the end of my day myself, a shooting star ended the day as we were stargazing.

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