Just before daybreak, we skirted the shores of San Cristobal, Galápagos, slowing the boat as much as possible so we could have a lighted entry as we made our way into Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, also known as “Wreck Bay.” Our welcome committee consisted of a ray doing flips off León Dormido, a huge jagged rock that emerges from the sea on the island’s north shore, shark fins swirling lazily at the surface, several sea lions, Elliot’s storm petrels, frigate birds and blue footed boobies, all making their first morning forays out into the sea.

León Dormido, San Cristobal, Galápagos

León Dormido, San Cristobal, Galápagos

When you pull in, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno looks deceitfully Mediterranean, only the landscape is all wrong. The buildings are tightly packed on the hillside, painted warm colors intermixed with white, and the bay is teeming with boats at anchor. When you look a little closer, you start to see the signs of where you really are. There are small wooden water taxis, some adorned with astroturf, piloted by tan, sun-dried men, circulating from yacht to yacht. There’s the faint belch of sea lions in the distance, and the corresponding piles of fenders, wooden boards and other detritus piled on swim platforms and boat boarding areas throughout the anchorage in a futile attempt to keep the sea lions from shedding all over your boat. And then there are the birds. The blue-footed boobies, complete with blue beaks, and the magnificent frigate birds, with their bright red throat pouch.

Part of the welcoming committee

Part of the welcoming committee. This one's just a pup.

Water taxi docks

Water taxi docks

Blue-footed booby

Blue-footed booby

Sea lion on our scoops

Sea lion on our scoops

This is a lifelong dream come true for me, as dorky as that sounds, so count on way too many photos over the coming week or two.

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