everything not having to do with the maritime operation of the ship itself, who deserves more credit than I can possibly give him for how well this operation runs) gave each passenger a new name based on a Galapagos creature and handed us certificates signed by “King Neptune” to attest to it. Following that, a few of us requested and were granted control of the Bluetooth audio system on the deck, and we had an impromptu Latin dance party. We then watched a magnificent sunset before our final dinner onboard later that evening. After another excellent dinner (complete with two birthday cakes for guests who had had birthdays that week) we gathered in the lounge for a slide-show of pictures taken during the cruise by the guides, brief debarkation instructions, and a farewell cocktail.

Marine Observation

Back on board and cleaned up, we met back on the top deck in the cool of the early evening for drinks as we started our journey back toward Baltra Island. For me, sitting on an open deck or balcony and watching the water is always one of the best parts of any cruise, and as action-packed as this trip was, I was grateful to have some time to enjoy it. There’s an old naval tradition known as a “Crossing the Line” ceremony wherein sailors crossing the equator for the first time are converted from mere “Pollywogs” to “Trusty Shellbacks.” To honor that tradition, (and as we’d actually crossed the equator several times during the voyage), we had a small ceremony. Francisco, our hotel director (i.e., the man in charge of

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