Dana Tomlinson: Day 23, March 23, 2002

NOAA Teacher at Sea

Dana Tomlinson

Aboard NOAA Ship Ka’imimoana

March 1 – 27, 2002

Date: Saturday, March 23, 2002

Lat: 1°S
Long: 91°W
Seas: flat
Visibility: unrestricted
Weather: partly cloudy
Sea Surface Temp: 82-86°F
Winds: light airs
Air Temp: 91-83°F

I arose at 5:30 to see the sunrise off the bow of the ship and our entrance into the Galapagos Islands – a place I’ve always dreamed of seeing. The water was flat as a pancake and the skies were dramatic with the clouds. As we pulled into the harbor of Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz, I naively thought that we’d be going to the other side of the island where the bigger city of Puerto Ayora must be! No, that was it – what looked like a very quaint little town about a half mile away – but so close, we could almost taste it. Anchor dropped!

We’d have to wait about 5 hours to taste anything on land, unfortunately. We needed to provide the proper paperwork to several different authorities and have all of our i’s dotted and t’s crossed before we could disembark. There were 3 of us who were permanently getting off the ship (Dr. Mike, John (the one videotaping me throughout the trip) and me), but everyone wanted to put their feet on land and see what the Galapagos had to offer, since very few of us had ever visited before.

After struggling with all of our belongings (including the ever-present tripod and camera!) into the water taxi, we were finally on our way. Between the KA and the pier, I saw much of the abundant wildlife the Galapagos has to offer: blue footed boobies diving into the sea, pelicans everywhere, marine iguanas on the lava rocks, sally lightfoot crabs scurrying over the lava (you’ve got to love a crab that doesn’t like water!!), herons. We took a taxi to our hotel, the Red Mangrove Adventure Inn, and settled. Then we spent the remainder of the day exploring the small town in the heat and incredible humidity. We ultimately met up with our mates and celebrated being on terra firma!

Til tomorrow,
🙂 Dana

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