I grew up by the ocean. Playing in the sand, fishing on the water, and (during my teenage years) competing in ocean mile races to train for swimming.
I love the vastness of the ocean horizon. I love the sound of the waves. I love the feel of the warm sand on my feet. The ocean brings a comforting sense of peace to this introverted Florida girl turned Nebraska farmer. Although I have happily made my adult life on the plains of Nebraska, there are times when I miss the ocean with a deep seated yearling.
The Pacific Ocean near the Galapagos Islands combined exquisite beauty with melodious power. We spent hours on the water traversing from island to island by boat — time walking the beaches and lava rocks looking for wildlife — and wonderful days snorkeling the reef areas. Although I traded the Atlantic for the Pacific in our Ecuador trip, it did seem a bit like “coming home”.
As we snorkeled the reefs, my mind went into the slow motion patient mode that I use when I handle cattle — recognizing that the more that I quietly watched, the more I would experience. I took pictures with my mind as I explored underneath the ocean surface finding multiple types of rays, feeding sea turtles, a sea horse, a beautiful purple star fish, a group of sharks hiding underneath a ledge of rocks, and a vast array of colorful fish.
With nothing more than a mask and snorkel, I floated above the ocean city taking periodic shallow dives down to further explore the life of the reef. My favorite farmer and I generally were the last of the bunch to climb back aboard the boat as we both found contentment observing the ocean’s treasurers. The girls also enjoyed the mysteries of the underwater world, although it took a bit of time for them to pick up the art of snorkeling 🙂
Perhaps my favorite day of the trip was the afternoon visiting the Daphne Islands followed by a morning of exploring and snorkeling at Bahia Ballena. I will share those photos in the next post. Needless to say, the waters surrounding the Galapagos Islands created quite a splash for the feed yard foodie family…