For many, sharing your new spouse with a dozen strangers in the intimate confines of a dive yacht and your most precious hours with schooling Galapagos Hammerheads and Whale Sharks does not exactly define romance, but for us - it was EPIC!
September 2007, we climbed aboard a dive yacht for our honeymoon. Our in water experiences, the land excursions and the impressive knowledge of our naturalist guides were nothing short of brilliant. Galapagos is unlike any other place on earth with diverse eco-systems and so many unique species. When you meet Lonesome George you are overwhelmed with the realization that you are experiencing the last of his kind. You giggle at the precocious penguins and blue-footed boobies. You choke on seawater as you laugh out loud into your snorkel, swimming with sea lions. And, you stand on Bartolome staring speechless at the ‘Master & Commander’ Pinnacle. One thing is certain - Galapagos will change you! With rekindled love for the amazing world we live in, you will reluctantly return home - but with the yearning to effect the positive change in the planet we all suppress in the hectic chaos of daily life.
We left Galapagos, humbled, with a burning desire to help somehow. And then we were blessed with two amazing daughters! After three seriously sleep deprived years we emerged from the stupor to discover that globally, others had been advocating for the future of shark populations which have been decimated over the past generation pushing many species to the brink of extinction. It begged the question ‘what kind of planet am I leaving for my children’? The Galapagos provides a unique reserve where under Darwin’s Arch, we communed with colossal Whale Sharks, and mingled amongst schools of Hammerheads.
We were extremely fortunate to share time and water with those sharks. Now was our turn to give back. We became part of a small group promoting a municipal shark fin ban in our large city and our movement is growing as a building block for a national ban. Whenever questioned, my heart takes me back to the Galapagos and the passion bursts out from beneath the professional facade… Others are listening.
I am a working mom with an improving amateur photo-blog and the proud supplier of pictures of the sharks of Galapagos for sharkfinfreecalgary.org. A former adventure travel junkie turned parent, I am now focused on family eco-tourism. Let me chronicle the Galapagos cruise for Quasar! With a keen eye, an understanding of what the Galapagos adventure is about and a broad demographic appeal – I will diligently strive to capture and share its essence, both in pictures and in words.
In my humble opinion, Galapagos is an absolute non-negotiable; it simply must be on everyone’s bucket list! And I don’t have the heart to cross it off mine. I need to go back and show my girlies all the amazing things to inspire them to greatness of character, instill a passion for planetary preservation that simply cannot be taught in school and to introduce them to Lonesome George… because my pictures, just cannot do him justice.
Galapagos Marine Iguana. Article photos provided by ©ikuefoto.