Ecuador's Galapagos Islands - 2003

Back on board, we ran forward to the front of the Polaris, because the captain announced that a pod of dolphins was “bow-riding.” They are magnificent animals - racing at the prow of the ship, porpoising and peeling off the side, but always effortlessly keeping up with the ship’s speed so as not to be run over. These creatures seem to enjoy this game as much the human watchers delight in seeing it.

G LASS B OTTOM B OATS Our afternoon activity was either snorkeling, which we rejected, or riding the glass bottom boat—so we took the latter. The ride was going well at first and we had fun seeing the fish and coral and plants under the boat in the clear water. We even saw 4 sleeping sharks below us. However, it soon became obvious that our boat pilot was having a great deal of trouble with the engine that kept cutting off. Then it was very reluctant to be restarted. All this provided some excitement since we were bobbing along without power very near to the rocky shores of the Champion Island (a small islet close to Floreana). The Pacific waves kept shoving and butting the boat closer and closer to the rocks and we began to realize that this was not a particularly happy place to be.

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