This guy stole a package on 1/7/2019 around 8:46 PM
This guy stole a package from our door on 1/14/2019 around 5:20 PM.
In 2018 I learned a few new things and I forgot to write about them. In August, Sam and I decided to learn how to row. In order to do it, we had to join a rowing club in Philadelphia. A friend recommended checking out the Bachelors Barge Club. We went to a meeting at the club and decided to join. We had lessons in the fall, but it got too cold so we had to stop until the spring.
I admit, that I’ve already fallen in the river one time. That part was not too great. I lost my sunglasses to the Schuylkill River and the coach lost his metal cane. I did precisely what he told me to do and then fell right out of the boat. My
I really enjoy rowing on the river and am excited to be able to take a boat out on my own. It’s a nice workout and you get access to some nature. I am not interested in competing, but using it as a way to work out and get some personal reflection time.
As soon as it is warm enough, I’ll be back on the river. Until then, I am trying to do a little bit of rowing in the gym each week. I can’t take a boat out until the coach tells me it is ok, but I think I should be ok with another 5 or 6 lessons.
Rowing has a lot of unknown vocabulary for me. I learned that rowing is actually called sculling. Weird.
Yesterday I went to the Baltimore Museum of Art to see the John Waters exhibit called Indecent Exposure. I really enjoyed it. I discovered John Waters in college when I first saw Desperate Living. It totally blew my mind. Since then, I’ve watched most of his filmography, but Desperate remains my favorite.
Indecent Exposure made me laugh out loud a number of times. The pieces are weird and enjoyable. Whether it is magazine covers addressed to unlikely subscribers (ie Barbara Bush getting Jet magazine), a baby stroller emblazed with sex club logos, children reading the script of Pink Flamingoes, or a collage of old gay erotica novels that contain the word chicken (Poultry) everything made me happy. I laughed out loud a lot. Waters narrates that audio guide which makes it all the more fantastic.
The thing I like about Waters is that his art calls us all out for being too serious. The world is a wacky, vulgar, and nonsensical place. It’s good to laugh at ourselves and enjoy our time on this planet. One piece is 308 notecards in which he kept his daily to-do list. He saved them all put them together like a quilt. I noticed a recurring 10 digit number and decided to call it. I hung up when it went to voicemail, but the voice sounded like John Waters. I think I called his phone. #crazy
You may think he is vulgar, but vulgarity is truly in the eyes of the beholder. On my drive to Baltimore yesterday, I listened to Jeremy Scahill’s episode on George HW Bush. Americans falling over one another to praise George HW Bush, a man who’s responsible for an uncountable number of deaths, is far more revolting than the John Water’s piece called 12 Assholes and a Dirty Foot. Indeed, it is 12 photos of rectums and a foot.
But hey, that’s me.
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.
We started the day with a hike at the Egas Port. This used to be a salt mining operation. We went looking for the Galapagos fur seal. We found a family of fur seals, more sea lions, marine iguanas, and a hawk. It was a nice walk. We did not immediately return to the boat and snorkeled off the beach.
At that point, we had snorkeled many times, but this time was special. We ended up swimming with 3 sea lions. I bet that we were with them for 30 minutes. One of them was big (probably a beach master). They would swim around us, break up schools of fish and leap out of the water only to dive back in next to us. We were snorkeling over a crevasse on the ocean floor. The sea lions would swim into it, chase fish out, and then dart out towards us. Others saw a shark, but I missed it. I saw something that looked and moved like an octopus, but it did not have tentacles.
When we returned, Jimmy and Ivan made us a feast. Marcos told us that it was in honor or Pachamama. Pachamama is basically mother nature. It’s a word used in the Andes. The lunch was incredible. There was a big piece of roasted pork, fish & octopus ceviche, mote pillo, and papas tortillas. I appreciated it and actually made me a bit nostalgic for Ecuadorian’s cuisine.
After our final Galapagos based nap, the captain took Nemo III through Buccaneer’s Cove. This area is replete with soaring rock formations and cliffs. We parked the boat for some unstructured fun. Holly and Spencer kayaked. Sam and I went swimming and then went to the jacuzzi. Later we were told that a shark had been swimming near us while we were off swimming.
Next: Daphne Major and Baltra
Today we ended up on Isla Fernandina. Landing on Fernandina was the first time we had access to a pier. We walked along the beach looking at animals. We found hawks that day and discovered a nursery for sea lions. We snorkeled after the hike. This is when Spencer took this great picture of me with a sea turtle. These turtles are angelic in the way they move through the water. That is me in the photo (I always had a yellow pair of fins when snorkeling.)
After lunch, we returned to Isla Isabela. We snorkeled in Caleta Tagus and hiked up some stairs to see a great view of the island and Darwin’s lake. You may be surprised, but there are a lot of things named after Charles Darwin in the Galápagos Islands. We looked for whales in Bolivar channel but came up empty-handed. It was lovely to sit on the deck and enjoy the sea. This was one of the days the captain used the front sail in addition to the motor. It was wonderful and relaxing.
The Nemo III crossed the equator twice that night. I did attempt to floss (the hip new dance, not the crucial dental hygiene treatment) while we crossed the equator. Why? Because I can say I flossed across the equator. Can you?
This is also the day Holly officially declared that she hated the marine iguanas. They are gross and their abunance only exacerbates their grossness.
Next: Isla Santiago