We are sailing on the MV Galapagos Explorer II and have been told several times how lucky we are to be on such a beautiful ship. I have purposely reined in my expectations. Whatever we find will be fine.It turns out that the ship really is beautiful, as is our room. Even without a upgrade, our room is large, attractive, and comfortable, with a double bed and nice-sized windows – although the windows don’t open. Fresh air would be fabulous, but I can go outside for the smell of the sea. I am delighted.
Our itinerary promises:
This afternoon a naturalist guide will lead you on a short walk to Ochoa Beach, an excellent spot to view pelicans, sea birds and anemones. Observe the thick vegetation and mangrove trees. Free time to walk on the beach, snorkel or swim before returning to the boat.
Although I am still hopeful – it is only mid-afternoon – the fact that our arrival was delayed by two hours makes me fear that we will not be visiting this beach. As we left the jetty we saw several kids swimming with sea lions. It looked like a lot of fun and made us all eager to do so ourselves.
As directed, we gather with the others in the main lounge for an orientation.
The curtains are closed, but the afternoon sun peeks around the edges. It is explained that we will not be going to the beach as scheduled. Instead we will circumnavigation of a tiny island called Kicker Rock where we may see a number of birds. But even that must wait until after we have been given presentations on the ship, safety procedures, the daily schedule, and the Galapagos. The orientation is occasionally interrupted by rather hostile questions and comments. While it isn’t the crew’s fault that our flight was late, I can understand the frustration of watching the bright afternoon sunshine slip away while sitting in a dark room watching a PowerPoint presentation. Couldn’t some of this wait until later? I feel like I’m at work!
After what seems like a long time, the orientation ends, but then we must participate in the safety drill. Once that is over I feel like I am really on vacation.
Lane and I find a wonderful open deck high up in the bow. We meet Nico and Monique there and we talk as we watch the scenery slowly pass by. It is a cool, breezy spot from which to watch as we approach and then circle Kicker Rock in the lengthening light.
After dark we are allowed up to the highest level of the ship where we can gaze at the constellations flung across the sky in unfamiliar positions. I can think of no better ending for the day.