Going Galapagos


Chuck Chuck the Panda
This is one of those dreaded blog posts when the blogger tells you what he had for breakfast.

To be honest, I’m beat. Sleep deprived, but for a good reason. My daughter, Julia, was out VERY late last night, did not get home until way after 1:00 AM in the morning!!!!! And to think on her 13th birthday!

That is because she returned from the Galapagos last night, and her flight from Miami was late. This was a trip organized and operated by my sister, Bunny, and her husband, Glen. The two of them try to arrange for a nice (although usually too short, I’m sure) vacation once a year or so. Recently they’ve been to Peru a couple of times, Copper Canyon, Turkey, Tanzania. This time they decided to go to the Galapagos with their two nieces.

The word is that the trip went very well. The trip focused on sea kayaking and snorkeling. I have to tell you that Julia, prior to the trip, was more that a little more concerned, to the extent that I thought was unhealthy, about sharks. (Which is very easy for me to say … you are not going to find me snorkeling in no stinkin’ ocean…). I had actually rented a couple of documentaries on the Galapagos but previewed them to see if they had sharks, and they did … big time sharks, with the scary music and everything. So I quietly slipped those DVDs right back into the Netflix envelope and no one was the wiser.

So Julia gets back and has all these shark stories. She loved swimming among the sharks. There was something about her bathing suit that made them especially interested in her, apparently. Mostly, though, it was fun to swim among the sea lions and iguanas.

She and I will put something together with her photos eventually, but I’ve placed one item (above) to give you a hint as to what might be coming.


  1. #1 sailor
    July 15, 2008

    Yes, I remember snorkeling with a couple of Galapagos guides round a sunken crater rim and seeing some big hammerhead sharks not more than 20 feet away. Since the guides did not panic, I just stayed right between them and hoped the shark fancied the bread rather than the filling between them.

  2. #2 Stephanie Z
    July 15, 2008

    No snorkeling?! My favorite parts of my Bahamas vacation were hanging upside down next to the reef so I could get a good look at the puffer fish underneath and holding a staring contest with the cutest little moray eel. Okay, the last was while diving, not snorkeling, but still. Oh, and then there was trying to keep up with the eagle ray. Heh. Right.

    I’m seriously envying Julia, though. I only got to see one shark.

  3. #3 JanieBelle
    July 15, 2008

    So cool. I’m so jealous. (‘cept maybe for the shark part.)

  4. #4 Romeo Vitelli
    July 15, 2008

    Sharks are nothing to worry about so long as you’re with someone you can outswim.

  5. #5 wazza
    July 16, 2008

    Oh, yeah, we had a Minnesotan staying with us a few years back and she was panicky about sharks. Seriously thought they were packed into the sea like sardines and all wanted a taste of the other other white meat.

    I think it’s because you’re so far from the coast, there, you never get the chance to get used to the idea that it’s possible to go into the sea without getting your legs bitten off.

  6. #6 Virgil Samms
    July 16, 2008

    This is one of those dreaded blog posts when the blogger tells you what he had for breakfast.

    Huh? I missed that part. What did you have for breakfast?

  7. #7 JanieBelle
    July 16, 2008

    Well I live pretty close to the beach (10 minutes as the crow flies, 30-45 by road), and spend more time than I should there.

    I go into the water all the time. I’m still a little twitchy about the sharks. It’s that whole “fear of the unknown” thing, I think, and could probably be corrected with a bit of experience.

    I still might insist on Romeo’s Insurance Policy (R.I.P.) at first though, and take a weak swimmer along for the ride, just in case.


  8. #8 Spanish Inquisitor
    July 16, 2008

    Sharks are usually not a big deal. Once, when diving, our dive master grabbed a 5 foot nurse shark by the tail and pulled it out from under an outcropping. The shark just swam away. They fear us as much if not more than we fear them.

    I was told, (don’t hold me to this) that there are really only two or three species of shark that will attack humans on purpose. Great whites and bull sharks. Maybe another one. The rest, if they bite, are usually mistaken, or just use their mouths to taste you to see if you really are food. Most times they spit you out.

  9. #9 JanieBelle
    July 16, 2008

    Most times they spit you out.

    Thanks. I feel so much better now!


  10. #10 Vince
    July 16, 2008

    Sharks? Your daughter is 13 and you’re worried about sharks that swim in the sea. This retired middle school says, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”

    I’m sure you and your wife have done a great job raising your daughter. Nevertheless, being a parent of a teenager is challenging.


    Thanks for the wonderful science blogs.

  11. #11 Vince
    July 16, 2008

    Brain fade happens too often when you’re retired. Teacher…middle school teacher…not used to correcting papers anymore. Thankfully. Apologies.

  12. #12 Spanish Inquisitor
    July 16, 2008

    Thanks. I feel so much better now!

    You’re welcome! Reassurance is my middle name. Or it would be if I had a middle name.

  13. #13 JillT
    July 27, 2009

    Great post! Just thought Iā€™d throw it out there for any of those who want to venture the Galapagos Islands themselves that I have found Galapagos Inc by Wildlife Vacations (www.galapagos-inc.com) to be a great and helpful source for booking travel to the region!