Galapagos April 20, 2010 (1 of 4): Crossing the Equator

Common Dolphin (Delphinus)

During the night, we crossed the equator while traveling northward on our way to the westernmost islands of the Galapagos archipelago. Specifically, our destination was snorkeling off Punta Vicente Rosa (Isabela Island) followed by a hike over lava flows on Punta Espinosa (Fernandina Island).

First, though, we had to get there.

At about 6:30am, we were woken by an announcement that a couple of large schools off dolphins off both sides of the ship.

And large they were!

Literally hundreds of dolphins cruising through the water on the way to wherever dolphins go at the crack of dawn.

Common Dolphin (Delphinus)

But not just swimming. Quite a few of the dolpins seemed to want to fly, leaping high out of the water, twisting about, and splashing along.

The captain of the ship circled us about for a while amongst the dolphins and we had nearly an hour amongst these magnificent creatures.

Photography aside: This is when the Canon 100-400mm lens really came through. The dolphin were mostly far off from our boat. Having an image stabilized lens with 400mm of reach on a 1.6x crop factor camera body made these images possible.

That and a bit of patience, a touch of luck, and a willingness to burn through a few hundred exposures before 7am.

Crossing The Equator

Right before we crossed the equator from north to south, all of the kids on board were called up to the pool. Swimming suits were encouraged greatly.

One of the joys of being on a Linblad crew is that, beyond the deep immersion into the natural world at your destination, the crew is all about making sure their guests of all ages enjoy themselves, too.

There is a long standing naval tradition revolving around a sailor’s first crossing of the equator from North to South. While it has oft been historically brutal, sometimes resulting in death, ours was considerably gentler.

A bit of a ceremony was held with the history of King Neptune and the crossing told, with crew dressed in various costumes. As we crossed the equator, the kids were tossed jumped in the pool and a good time was had by all.

About 30 minutes after this bit of fun, we were anchored off of Punta Vicente Roca and ready for our next adventure.

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