Arriving on Santa Cruz Island, I made my way via shuttle to Puerta Ayora where I arranged a 12 day Galapagos cruise. Not being able to choose between a motor cruiser or a sailboat, I selected both. A 6 day cruise to the north on a motor cruiser followed by a 6 day catamaran tour.

The first 6 days I had a room to myself with 4 other couples so there were 9 of us. The room was quite comfortable and the food was served inside in the dining room. Quite luxurious compared to my usual digs. 

A dream come true sailing from island to island and walking amongst the exotic wildlife.

The diversity of wildlife here is stunning, even compared to Africa.

Midway through the tour I was dropped off back at Puerta Ayora where I spent the night and then caught a ferry to another island and joined a catamaran tour. I had to share quarters with a young German girl, Anna, and the space was tighter than the cruiser. That said the catamaran had a huge upper deck with several large sofas making for comfortable lounging and viewing of the seas and surrounding islands. 

By the 11th day I had seen pretty much everything I was hoping to see; whales, manta rays, sharks, scores of bird species, land turtles. But the sea turtles had eluded me. It happened to be my 60th birthday and I dove into the crystal clear deep blue sea waters for our final day of snorkeling. I came across thirty or more sea turtles of various sizes. I spent an hour just slowly drifting with them. For about 10 minutes I followed a huge one that must have been 6 feet long and had a head that appeared as big as my larger than normal noggin.

Unfortunately I have very few pictures as I lost most of them. But the scenes here in this exotic locale are etched in my mind. Truly one of the greatest Nature experiences on the planet.

The scuba diving was quite nice here as well. I just did 2 dives. You either have to choose diving boats or non diving boats. There was no mix. So I chose to dive off an island. The snorkeling was fabulous so either option is great I think depending upon your preference.

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