Eyes of SWILD

 
 
  The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Galapagos aquamarine blue beaches

The islands of Galapagos, off the coast of Ecuador, are renowned for their flora and fauna. Due to their distance and isolation from the mainland, many of Darwin's theories use examples found on these remote islands.

Blue footed boobies

The blue footed boobies are everywhere. And unless you are very careful, you can step on them and their eggs very easily. None of the animals are afraid of humans. You can walk right up to them.

Marine iguanas

The marine iguana is just sunning it self on the racks. Its great fun to get real close and just marvel at them all. They certainly look prehistoric close up.

Carbs galore

I've never seen such a colorful crab before. They have meaty claws that can take your finger off at the knuckle in an instant.

Galapagos seals

The seals are especially friendly in the water. They'll swim right up to you, and then a the last moment, they'll double back in a swoosh of bubbles just inches from you.

Island tortoises

The tortoises are enormous and were prized by the ancient mariners as an excellent food source that kept fresh on their sailing ships for months at a time.

Scuba the Galapagos

The scuba diving off the islands is SWILD. The Galapagos is well known for its hammerhead sharks. We saw one just off the reef taking a furtive look at us before it vanished in a blink of an eye.

Albatross

Finally I see an albatross in person. Ever since reading the Ancient Mariner, I've always wondered what one looked like.

Island post office

This is the local post office. You don't need stamps though. If you drop any mail off, you're supposed to pick up an equivalent number of letters and postcards from the pile, and mail them upon your return home.

Live aboard

I recommend a live aboard in order to film all of the islands. You get what you pay for. I must admit, the boat above was slightly more expensive than I'd normally pay - but nothing beats cocktails being served as soon as you step off the tender after a long day's filming.

In tribute to David Andretta: David and I dove for hammerhead sharks. They are lonesome creatures and are easily frightened. They tend to swim off the wall in the deep blue but are difficult to see. Fearsome creatures when seen up close. The next time I saw one was in Mozambique (photo).

David was a great guy. I shared my stories about stroking great whites and keeping your arm. Hang gliding cliff launches over rock wall climbers - Yosemite is best. And what I knew then about voodoo." David was all ears under a shock of dyed blond hair. Very attentive. Took it all in without much fanfare. Asked a few questions and seemed as if he had lined them up in his mind in the order to achieve them.