We were extremely fortunate to enjoy an incredible family adventure in the Galapagos the past two weeks. We booked with International Expeditions and lived for 8 days on the Explorer, a 32 passenger boat with 18 wonderful crew members. I sketched when I could and busted out the watercolours where possible though drawing and painting on a rolling ship proved challenging. I’ve posted a few of my drawings below.
Our plane was delayed from so we missed our connection in Bogota and wound up having to spend a night there. We befriended some other Canadians and a kind Venezuelan woman whose name I never did get.
In Guayaquil Ecaudor, we visited a park that was full of iguanas. The above seriously happened…
Our first night was anchored off of San Cristobal. The boat rocked so badly that plates and glasses fell and smashed. I barfed 8 times. It was brutal but thankfully by noon the next day I was out snorkelling and was never ill again (insert Gravol plug here).
Marine iguanas eat the vegetation in the ocean and have a special ecological adaptation that allows them to snort the salt out of their system through glands connected to their nostrils. Very cool.
We were lucky to have three incredible naturalists with us. They were fantastic with the kids and tolerant of the slow learning adults.
The boat hotel manager was a lovely man from Quito who gently woke us every morning for our daily adventures. He never said this, but I’m convinced he wanted to.
Being mindful of one’s ecological footprint is naturally top of mind when visiting the islands and this meant no toilet paper in the toilet. That was a tough one.
Shark hunting was a favourite activity. We saw dozens of white tip reef sharks, six Galapagos sharks and I was lucky enough to see seven hammerheads (the prized find!). The waters were often rough though and we joked about the calm snorkelling conditions.
We travelled with a wonderful group of people that were so accommodating with the kids and terrific boat companions. We often got excited in our efforts to spot sea turtles, eagle rays and sharks and rocks were a real tease at times.