Some of the biggest compensating factors on this field excursion have proved to be the Pirata and her crew. They earned our respect by carefully stowing all of the awkward geophysical gear for our ocean voyage. They demonstrated their seamanship by keeping us safe on the open ocean and skillfully guiding us to our landing sites. We ate well and slept well. Most importantly, onboard we became part of the culture of the Galapagos. Both the ship and crew are natives.
The story of the Pirata is best told by the photos. It is, however, worth putting this image into words. It is Elizabeth Bay, where you can sit on the deck while the suns sets and listen to the bark of sea lions. Just by turning your head you see five active volcanoes, Fernandina, Cerra Azul, Sierra Negra, Alcedo and Darwin. For me that was the Galápagos.