There was not much to our final morning. We sailed around a big rock (small island?) called Daphne major looking for birds. Before we got to Daphne, I awoke to us pulling up the anchor. I decided to not fall back asleep and got a coffee around 5:30 AM on the deck. None of the other passengers were awake yet. I waved to the captain and one of the other crew but settled into a seat to enjoy the sea.
While I was sitting there, tears started to roll down my face. I am not sure why, but I just felt overwhelmed. I have a lot of mixed up feelings on my earlier time in Ecuador and this brought much of that to the surface. I plan to explore much of that in a post soon.
I needed the vacation. I needed to get out of the city, I needed to unplug, and I needed to reflect. I thought about Cathy and Kim dying. I thought about my friend Carl dying in Ecuador in June of 2009. I thought about the majesty of the islands and my eternal gratefulness to touch them. I was sad that only people with money can explore these islands. I was brokenhearted that climate change will destroy them for future generations.
Will this magical place only exist in memories? I don’t know, but the vessel that keeps these emotions bubbled over that morning. I slipped my sunglasses on before a member of the crew stumbled upon the scene.
By 6:30 AM more passengers started to make their way upstairs. Most of us had packed the night before, so there was little to do but enjoy the sea and coastline of Daphne Major. After breakfast, we said our goodbyes and boarded the dingy one last time. The captain of Nemo III drove the dingy that morning and he shook my hand as I stepped off. It’s hard to explain, but it was a tremendous honor. He was proud of his boat, his crew, and the fact he sails in one of the most incredible places in the world. Once again, I teared up behind those sunglasses.
I cannot recommend a trip to Galápagos Islands enough. They are magical and you feel privileged to be there. I don’t mean economically privileged when I say that (though you are and should recognize that). The Galápagos Islands feel like our earth is revealing a secret to you. If I believed in such things, I’d say that you feel as if you are communing with Pachamama. When you are there, you are definitely aware of your insignificance when confronted by the magnitude of mother nature.
Make a plan right now to go to the Galápagos Islands. Save the money you need and go as soon as you can. They won’t be there forever.