Day twelve. Diving in the Galapagos was a bit of a letdown on the last trip only because the snorkeling was so great, and the same seems to be holding true on this trip – our dive at North Seymour Island actually started out yesterday in the dive shop when we all tried on our equipment. The first wetsuit that was suggested for me was almost loose enough that I could bend my elbows, but the fact that I couldn’t lower my arms was agreed upon by everyone present to be a potential hindrance. The second wetsuit provided a nearly partial range of motion while only slightly cutting off circulation to less-used parts of the body (such as arms and legs) so that one was a winner. We returned to the dive shop today at 7:00 AM, climbed into trucks that took us across the island at nearly double the posted 70 km/hr speed limit, and then boarded a boat that required people to constantly change seats in order to prevent capsizing. The dive site was choppy, although the two dives weren’t bad – we started out with a field of sea snakes and ended with a school of six foot long white-tipped reef sharks circling only a few feet away. The interlude between dives provided an opportunity to partake of some fine tupperware cuisine, which one member of the dive party promptly returned to the ocean; luckily the captain was available to aid the seasick by politely dousing her with jugs of water while she puked; the phrase “Please just hold my hair back” is apparently not one that non-English speakers are familiar with.
After returning to town and navigating Puerto Ayora’s water taxi system I failed miserably in my attempts to resolve Greg and Thalia’s email problems, and later met a group to have dinner in the Highlands. Oswaldo met us at the taxi, led us into the restaurant (which we had completely to ourselves) and for the next three hours we dined on crepes, fish, cake, coffee and drinks that would cause lesser men to go blind, all for $16 per person. Audrey is reminding me that there was also a pool visit prior to dinner, and while I didn’t witness it stories are circulating about an old man, laps around a pool, and unfortunate collisions with Caitlin’s crotch. Tomorrow is the last full day in the islands, after which this trip sadly begins its end.