Back to School for Timbo

Seems every snorkel adventure we have ever signed up for included a barrel of rum punch and loud calypso music.  Not so much in the Galapagos!!!

As we boarded the boat no one was wearing bikinis either…  they had binoculars and bird books??   Even a 10 year old kid was reading a book waiting in line???    Whooo man…  where am I ???

When in Rome as they say!   OK lets learn something.. if we have to….

First up Daphne Major Island

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These two Brits moved on the island in 1972…  spent 6 months bird watching… well more like catching Finch’s… giving them a name.. and studying them…  but not just for 6 months..   they have done this every year for 40 years!   Biologists at Princton, they have proven (yet again?) Darwins evolution, studying each bird actually change…

(When I asked if they grew web feet or something, I got a smart remark back.. as in … YES thats it……   I think she was kidding)

Anyhoo…  they have a few hundred pet birds and are looking for volunteers to take over the study…    Ryan???

Along the way we ran into the Dolphins.. (see video after this post)… that was pretty awesome.. we have seen 100’s of dolphins in the Atlantic, but these are much larger and really put on a show! One stood on its nose and smacked it’s tale at the end, im sure asking for applause!

OK.. recess is over.. back to school!

How about we climb a Volcano?  Robin looks at her FITBIT and says…  lets go!


Only very low intelligent Lizards live on this Rock…  You can cook breakfest eggs on any surface its so hot… wow

So what do they eat?  (See you do want to learn)….

well a type of plant that ONLY grows here.. is what they eat…   some cross breed of a cactus and moss from my observation…

Check out the View from the TOP!!!  Thats our boat waaaay down there….

Now on the way up the guide promised there was beer and ice cream at the top… so Timbo was excited…

I swear I heard the  Lizards laughing as we made the summit.

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Anyone ready for a swim???   Damn right… down we go!

But First lets walk on some BABY lava..  only 100 years old..

Its still black…  old lava turns red as the iron oxidizes…   (so you learned something today)..  my Ford truck didnt take 100 years to oxidize…

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Now to Snorkelling!!!   They took us to the spot in their PANGA.. thats what we call DINGY…  here its PANGA..  and they are way bigger and dont fill with water…. Parker would like them better.

So.. the guide stops the Panga.. and I notice we are floating quickly the wrong direction from where he was telling us to snorkel…  The driver started a conversation in thick quick spanish to the guide… and when he stopped, I said “Definitely I agree, we cant get out here..  lets go up stream..”    Spanish lesson complete!

There were 100’s of fish, but I noticed the GoPro lens (waterproof case) started to get some drops of saltwater in it…   So, filming was HALTED… amazingly the camera is fine?


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Not toooo often you get Robin to go Snorkelling!!!  But she was a champ today!   The kids are proud!!!

OK… anyone ready for a Cervas???

Back to the boat for a really great meal!..   They had HUGE portions of some pork chops covered in sauce… I took the biggest piece..  and CHOWED down!   About 2/3 through Robin looked at me and asked?

How do you like the TUNA?


(Timbo doesnt think he likes fish)




Cruising the Galapagos

Had a fabulous day here in Galapagos…   we went for a tour on a local cruise company boat 2.5 hours out to a offshore island.

Very neat experience with some rather large dolphins along the way…   Apparently they wanted to get to know Robin a little better…  check out the video attached!

We hiked to the top of a volcano..  not active, so no scary stories! Just very cool views miles across the ocean..   I now know more about lava flows than you…  Let me know if you want a lesson 🙂

Over to some beach’s in search of the pengiuns, but none in sight today…  We did find a Blue Footed Boobie hanging around which was my only Goal of the Galapagos… they are very cool, and Friendly!   Well..  to us… not so much to FISH..

We watched 200 or more circle the bay…  I asked the guide who was directing them and he said listen to the one that whistles..  and sure enough…  the one in the lead started howlin..  and BAM… they all dove into a fish bowl at exactly the same time…  No more FISH… very cool!

Then off to Snorkling…  Robin usually finds a good excuse to get out of water activities…  but she was determined to go..  and after getting out she said:

“That was the BEST SNORKLING Ive EVER Done”‘

Timbo received a smack when he suggested it might be her second time…  JUST KIDDING !!!!     The fish here are HUGE!!!  every colour you can mention they have a fish Sporting it…  and they are more than curious coming up to check you out…   very fun!

Well until the camera lens filled with water…. DOOH!!!!

Don’t worry.. it still works… how I have no idea!

Back to Town… and out for dinner with Jason and Gail from TWOFISH!!!

Starting to nail down our plan of attack for the passage to Marquesas…   lots of laughs… what a great day!



Arrival Galapagos

Two Fish have been travelling for a month now to get here, so I guess our 48 hours hasn’t been too bad! 🙂

It certainly is a long way…  catches up to you about day 3 of travelling in airports!..   We stayed overnight in Detroit as the snowstorms were a little crazy…

Flying to Quito Equidor was pretty easy…  we had a 7 hour layover so we had booked a small room just minutes from the airport..

Once again not knowing Spanish is an issue..  If you ever want to learn a language pick Spanish!   Someone always seems to come to our rescue and this time it was the owner of the cab company..  he owns one in LA and one is Quito??  Anyway… next thing you know we are in his truck and heading down the road… what a nice guy, we always find great people!.     Very modern airport that was built in the last 3 years..  LED billboards along the highway.. this is 2015 for sure… then we show up to the ‘hotel’…

Now were back in 1915..  checked in no issue into a room about 10’ x 10’…..  well when it cost $40 what can you ask for??

A rooster decided the sun was about to rise, although it was only 1am..  then the dog fight started!..  I think rover won, but it took him a good hour to bark down the competition….  about 20% of our sleep allowance.

We asked for a 4:30 wake up call, and a 5:15am cab..   we didnt get the wakeup call, but the cab was 15 minutes early!  A quick shower sans warm water and we were on our way!

Arriving 2 full hours early for a domestic flight, we were surprized at the lines..  Galapagos fee $20.00…  no issue, but 45 minutes to pay..

Then check in…..  boarding was well over before we checked the bags…  then having 4 checked rather than the 3 allowed (for 2 people?) we had to go pay another $10.00 at another counter..

By the end, Timbo was laughing, there is no way we are making this flight..   and really who cares.. we have days if not weeks… whats the big deal…

Well the airline thought different and assigned a person to run us through security, and down to the bus to take us to the plane.

We might have been last to board the bus, but we were ‘almost’ first off… and almost first on the plane!!   2 hours later we landed in Galapagos!

Our bags were first off the plane…  but we were missing one… damn..

Robin’s cloths too.. thats not good..  Timbo could just buy a couple T shirts for 6 weeks… not so much with Robin… 🙂

1 hour later all the bags are delivered and all taken… except ours…   big lineup to final inspection…  Timbo is going to find a clerk to show missing bag tag…  Robin goes back to the original bag drop area.. our RED bag was turned upside down (black side up) and had been there all along… ha.. oh well.. we DO HAVE TIME…

Walking outside the airport, a sign is displayed with our Names!!! Sweet!  Our driver grabbed our bags and got us onto a large bus… again he didnt know english and we didnt know spanish..  but we communicate no issue..

10 mins later we arrive at a ferry (only for people)!…  cool..   offload the bus.. all on the ferry..  bags n all..  across a river.. over to his truck.. loaded up and on our way!..  Getting into town, we unload, and reload into another small raft.. as our Eco Hotel has no roads to it..  we cruise by TWOFISH,  the boat we are taking to the Marquesas on the way… No one on deck…     To the hotel for drinks, a shower and a sleep!   Crazy high end hotel…  cool towels and drinks at the check in desk..  but your not allowed to stand there and talk.. lets go sit down somewhere more comfy..  i could get used to this!

Walking in town later that night we run into Gail from TwoFish..  And many more of the ARC race fleet..  really fun!

Tomorrow we are taking a boat to an island offshore to check out some wildlife…  you are not allowed to take your own boat, which is no problem as it would take about 2 days to get there… Powerboating 101 tomorrow for some snorkeling, hiking, and exploring !!!

The weather is crazy hot.. we are used to the cold winter, this heat is AWESOME.

The SeaLions are DOGS… sleeping on the docks..  you just step over them trying not to wake them up… too funny…

Anyway..  we’ve only been here a few hours… but here’s a short video so far.




Update from Allie

We recieved a few text message from Allie this weekend!

She is currently on Ascension Island, which is absolutly spack dab in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.  Here’s some details on her visit to the island:


February 21 – Port Program all day.  Dr Nicola Weber and Drew Avery will be giving a presentation to the students on the ship about the island from a historical and conservation perspective.    In the evening, the students will go to one of the beaches on the island and watch the green sea turtles laying eggs with a local conservation guide facilitating the experience.  Ascension has the largest nesting population of green sea turtles (upwards of 10 000) in the Atlantic, and luckily we are there during prime nesting season.  The green turtle weighs upwards of 700 lbs and 5 feet across, so an impressive creature and sight for the students!


Allie really loved this program… She stayed in a fort on the beach with an open view of the ocean all night.   She volunteered with Marine Biologist to count the nests and rake the beach (not sure if this is to protect the nests from other creatures looking for a snack?)

The ship had a couple issues lately…  The watermaker stopped working… which isnt great, as they next passage is 25 days!

Secondly, the satelite communication link Fell off the Mast… hummm… we wondered why the daily updates became very short and sweet this week!

Most all ocean going vessels can send email through their HAM radio, so I assume this is how they are communicating to us now.

Anyway.. she is LOVING this semester even more than last.

Hopefully an uneventful passage to BARBADOS for the kids!







St. Helena

Well we were hoping to Speak to Allie at this port but it doesnt look promising..  The internet appears to be down (on the island)..  we are getting snipplets of info from some students with cell phones…  and it appears this may be the BEST port YET…

One photo sent was some of the kids swimming with a 30 foot whale shark…  hummmm… Gramma likely wouldnt approve…

The local paper wrote a column on the ship… see it here!

Gulden Leeuw at St Helena With Class Afloat

Click Above ^^^


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This is our last port in Africa!

Our crossing over was very rough. And I mean VERY rough. All the new crew was hanging over the side. Including some of the new maritime crew! But we managed to go to class everyday and still have a lot of fun on the rolling seas.

We spotted wildlife every day, including whales, sharks, sea lions and jellyfish. So far this is a great start to the new semester. This town is literally in the middle of a desert. And a fairly new desert too. I learned today that due to people changing the direction of the river, the sand no longer got washed out to the sea and instead gathered in dunes around the city. The river change occurred in 1960!

We started out first full day with some sand boarding down the dunes! The sand here is more course then the sand in the Sahara Desert, and it’s also very sparkly because there is so much salt in it. Sand boarding works by the guides taking you on the back of their quad to the top of the sand dune. Then you lay on a board and slide down! Then they pick you up on their quad and bring you back up again.

For port program we did a black township tour. We visited the villages that you see on tv in those “save Africa” ads. The people made huts out of anything they could find. Most of them would have a wheel barrow or a bike on top for a roof. Here we played with the kids in the kindergarten and walked through the village talking to the locals and learning about how they live.

For my anthropology field trip today we went in a land rover through the dunes. We stopped at a burial site for natives who used to live in the desert. We were holding the artifacts that you would see in a museum – human remains, giraffe skulls and vertebrates. It was unreal! We also saw a huge flock of hot pink flamingos!

We set sail tomorrow for St. Helana, another secluded island in the Atlantic Ocean. I’m really looking forward to this port, hopefully it will be like Tristan.

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Ships Log January 25 2016

Ships Log….Log Keeper: Samuelle

Last night everyone got dressed up and enjoyed a formal Sunday dinner with the whole crew – our first one this passage! To add to the fun, a pod of whales were breaching near the ship, a pair of sea lions played in our wake, and a shark casually swam by. It was a wildlife spectacle! After the meal, we had a jam session under the night sky with guitars, keyboards and drums. Our Engineer, Robert, sang the blues with his harmonica and guitar, and we had performances by Alexa and Mikayla, and our host Drew. Marcus mimicked a fireplace with an app on his laptop, and Jaden set up some battery candles to add to the warm ambience. What a great night!