By Nick Wilder


For years I’d read about Charles Darwin and the Beagle and seen photos of Blue-footed boobies and giant tortoises in the pages of National Geographic, but it wasn’t until recently that I discovered sailing cruises through the Galapagos. Last fall, I signed up for a 10-day cruise and visited Quito, Ecuador, with Natural Habitat Adventures. I joined ten other passengers for two nights in Quito, then flew to the Galapagos Islands, which lie about 600 miles off the coast. We quickly settled into our 72-foot sailing catamaran, Nemo 3. I don’t recommend the experience to anyone who feels claustrophobic in tight sleeping quarters. We had two guides and seven crew members who fed us well and sailed the boat. Our daily activities revolved around hiking, kayaking, and snorkeling. On one of the snorkeling trips, I swam surrounded by four sea turtles and a sea lion showing off his acrobatic moves. I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to take lots of photos and my new iPhone 14. Here are some of my favorites:


Portraits in Quito

Posing for the wedding photographer

Sailing on the Nemo 3

Surf on the lava rocks

Our guides

Immature Booby trying to land on our bowsprit

Yours truly kayaking

Shedding our wet suits

Some of the Galapagos islands

A tortoise and our accommodations at the tortoise camp

A male frigate bird and blue footed booby looking for lunch

Returning to Nemo 3

Land Iguana enjoying a snack

Marine iguana heads out to sea

Touring on the zodiac

Blue footed Booby

Galapagos cormorants have evolved without predators to become flightless. Their wings no longer have any function. Here’s a cormorant drying off on the deck of Nemo 3.

A sea lion relaxes on the rocks

A Galapagos penguin, a crab and an ominous looking marine iguana