These Photos are mostly scenic that did not seem to fit in specific category
An inflatable rigid frame Zodiac was our means of
transportation between the ship and the shore.
Many of our landings were what was referred to as "Wet Landings"..
We didn't get soaked but did get our feet wet
Getting out wasn't too bad but getting back in
could involve some physical dexterity. Wade out to the Zodiac,
sit on the gunwale and than swing your feet into the boat.
As you can see, the water temperature was not bad.
I wore swim trunks and a long sleeve Lycra shirt, no so
much to stay warm but to guard against sunburn and sea critters that can sting.
Came across this three master when we were returning to the airport
Home Sweet Home from the beach.
This is our Guide Crew. Every one spoke excellent English
and knew almost everything there was to know about the Galapagos.
Turns out that one was originally from Texas. A little town near Fort Stockton, Ozona.
The guy in the orange T-shirt was the Ship's Doctor. Yup, a real MD
The red haired guy with glasses was the videographer. He made the video that is attached to this site.
The one with the beard next to him was the Tour Director.
One of the fully stocked lifeboats. The cruse was extremely safety conscious.
We had a lifeboat drill immediately upon embarkation and a refresher mid-way through the expedition.
We had to have life jackets on before embarking on a Zodiac and immediately after reembarking from an island.
Spotless Ladybug enjoying a mid day meal
Even the bugs were different. A spotless ladybug and a Painted Locust. Two bugs
found no where else on the Earth.
This Blow Hole is an interesting phenomenon. When lava flows, many times open tubes are left because the lava hardens on the outside of a flow but continues to flow on the interior. Eventually the molten lava drains out and an empty tube like a water hose is left. In other instants, it may be a fissure in the lava flow. In this case the bottom end is just below the tide line and the top is way above. When a wave hits, water is forced through the opening and exits above with a great "whooshing" sound. Guess the next step is for someone to put an electric turbine in the tube so the blowhole can be illuminated at night. Sure hope NOT!
I have seen a similar one in the Hawaiian Islands.
I am certain that there are many more but they are interesting to watch.
We had lot of wave action but surprisingly the Zodiac rides were not a bit rough.
I think the boat captains had been doing it long enough that they knew exactly
what speed to run to give us the best ride. Good idea as they were the ones
that had to clean up their boats! I do not remember a single person sea-sick
on the trip. Only one casualty that I know of. Someone wearing flip-flops while
hiking the lava beds, slipped and took the hide of a heal. Nasty 3" gash.
We are making a "Dry Landing" on Bartolome' (Bartholomew) Island and plan to hike to the summit
of the volcano that forms the island. We will be hiking from sea level up to 359'.
That doesn't sound like much but it is the height of a 30 story office building with no elevators, and is is very warm.
The ground consists of very fragile volcanic stone. A footprint breaks the surface crust and exposes the ground to severe erosion.
The Park Service has constructed wood walkways and stairs to the top. We are prohibited from leaving these walkways.
Note: What you see here is lava so we could walk on it.
Starting up the walkway from the landing area.
A view down on the landing and lower walkway.
A view of the top with a welcoming Galapagos Eagle
You can see the fragile volcanic soil here that was mentioned earlier.
Well, 359' vertical and 389 steps plus a lot of upward angled boardwalk in between.
Here is the view from the top. Definitely worth it!
Wow, our ship looks like a toy from up here.
Pinnacle Rock. One of the better known
A miniature blue lagoon? Actually a
collapsed small caldera. (volcano)
Yes, I made it to the top and here
is a picture to prove it!
This is a collapsed lava tube. Lava tubes form first as a stream of
lava. The outside of the stream cools while the interior stays hot.
The interior molten lava then drains out the bottom end of the tube,
leaving a pipe-like structure, which here has collapsed into itself.
We were treated to some spectacular sunsets.
Every day was different
These are known as the Prince
Phillip's Steps, named after his visit here in 1974
They don't look all that bad from here but wait till you get to the top!
This massive basalt cliff was like looking straight up from
Yeah, this is the top end. You have to squeeze through this
narrow opening while going down a very steep trail to get
to the top of the steps. The blue pack is the person just below.
This is the wine barrel made into a post office drop. This custom started during whaling days.
Crews of whaling ships on their outward journey would drop letters in the barrel. Crews on their
way back to the East Coast or Europe would pick up these letters and deliver them to the crew's
families. Now, expedition ships have post cards on board. If you wish, you address a card to
yourself and drop it in the barrel. Each expedition leader that arrives at the barrel goes through
the cards and calls out the city and state it is addressed to. If you live there, you can take the
card, but you must promise to deliver ti in person.
Yes, I placed a card in the barrel. Some day,
someone may knock on my door with it, having
picked up at Post Office Bay and promising to
deliver it to me. The closest one when I was there
was in Austin, but the address was a high-rise
office building downtown. Was not about to sign up
to deliver that one.
These are Red Mangroves. Not much to look at but essential to the marine population of the Galapagos.
The is the nursery of most marine fish found here. No mangroves, no fish!
This is a sugar cane press. It was originally turned
by a donkey but as they have been removed from the
islands, it is now man powered for the demonstration.
Cain stocks are fed into the press on the side where
the man is standing. You can see pieces laying on the
ground next to him
The juice is then boiled down into a dark brown sugar syrup which we call molasses.
It can be further dried into brown cane sugar. 80 gallons of juice will produce
9-12 gallons of molasses. OR:
It can be made into Rum. Yes, this is a still!
And, yes he is making rum! 100 gallons of juice
will produce 12 - 3 gallons of rum. Alcohol is
produced by the fermentation of sugar. When the
alcoholic content reaches 12 - 13 percent, the
alcohol is strong enough to kill off the microbes in
the fermentation process so no more alcohol is produced.
Okay, fine, but who wants 12% rum? No! rum is sold at 80 - 90 proof.
Is proof and percent the same? No, Proof is double the percent alcohol
contained in the beverage. So 80 proof is 40% alcohol. How do we get
from 12 % to 40%?
We run the 12% fluid through a distillation process. Alcohol
has a lower boiling point than water, so if we heat the fluid
slowly, the first traces of steam will be pure alcohol.
There is a lot of technical stuff involved as well.This is why,
wine, which is not distilled comes in at around 12%
Is alcohol flammable? I will let you answer that one
Liquor cannot be distilled to 100% alcohol unless specialized vacuum cylinders , etc are used.
180 proof, (90%) is about the limit. Pure alcohol has no taste or color. Its the 10% impurities that
provide each liquor's distinctive taste, odor and color (and hangover). These three photos were shot
at a speed of 6 shots per second so each represents 1/6th of a second. This is what happens when
about 1/2 cup of 180 proof alcohol is thrown into a fire.
Well, lets let Micky try it!
No, Micky, your name is spelled with an M first.
Oh, that's what you thought of it!
Well, maybe Bacardi has a secret formula
Lets see, a Prickly Pear that thinks its a teddy bear? Well, maybe,
I don't think I want to give it a hug. It can grow to 12 feet.
No, actually it is a variety of Prickly Pear only found in the Galapagos.
A Prickley Pear Cactus with a Wilt Chamberlan complex?
No, it is a Prickly Pear but one only found on Santa Cruz Island.
It can grow to a heigth of 40 feet. its a: O echios var. gigantea
AeroGal, the name sort of reminds me of AeroMexico, also known as Aero Maybe. Actually the planes were extremely nice.
We flew in an a 373 stretch and out on an Airbus 320. (I hope I have to models right) The flight out we even had
in-seat entertainment. And both were spotless!
Note the Galapagos motif in the planes decor.
This complete the tour of the Galapagos Islands. I hope you enjoyed it. Now click below to move on to Quito or to go back to the home page