Galápagos: miscellaneous

August 14, 2023 • 12:00 pm

A few miscellaneous shots from yesterday. Here there’s an open-bridge policy (it’s relaxed here; we don’t even have keys to our cabin doors, so they’re always unlocked). A couple photos of the bridge:

The captain making slight adjustments to the course. Most of the time the ship is on autopilot, but adjustments are needed fairly often as the GPS isn’t perfect.

There are two wheels: the hydraulic main wheel seen above, and an old-fashioned wooden wheel that works manually and is used only in emergencies.

The radar readout of where we are. Land (the islands) are at the. bottom, and our course is the pink line.

And a view of Daphne Major, the island made famous by the work of Peter and Rosemary Grant on the finches. It’s volcanic, of course, but there is no water on it, and for their several-month stays the Grants had to lug water and supplies along a human chain up to the top from the sea. Tough work, but they accomplished a lot. (They lived in a small cave with a tarp over the front.)

We went right by Daphne Major. You can see how daunting it is: dry, nearly 400 feet up, with a tuff crater at the top.

It’s dry as hell: not a tree on the island.  The Grants’ work on the finches, especially natural selection on the medium ground finch Geospiza fortis, was popularized in the Pulitzer Prize–winning book The Beak of the Finch by Jonathan Weiner although evolutionists had long followed it.

Lunch on Sunday. First, Logro de Papa soup; traditional potato soup with cheese topped with avocado.

Mains: Braised chicken breast and veg with sweet  fried plantains and rice

Dessert: rice pudding with blackberry sauce. The food is very good on board, one of the reasons to travel with Lindblad

I give my first lecture today: “Why evolution remains true”, acquainting the passengers with what the modern theory of evolution consists of, why it’s both a theory and a fact (like the “germ theory” of disease), and then give them the evidence for evolution. Wish me luck!

16 thoughts on “Galápagos: miscellaneous

  1. If you ever decide to revise your book for a new paperback edition (probably no need to), “Why evolution remains true” could be the title of an essay that would appear in the back of the book!

  2. Aha! I just finished commenting on the North Seymour Island post and was asking about the bridge. Thanks for the photos and information, very cool. Daphne Major looks like a daunting place to spend any time on; field biologists are tough, I tell you!

    I also like Barry’s suggestion above!

  3. If you have not read “Beak of the Finch”, get it, even if you know all about the work. I made the mistake of taking it along on a trip to Roatan, Honduras (lovely place, spectacular diving) and my partner and I spent about 2.5 days of our time there competing for possession of the book and reading, rather than enjoying the local offerings beyond pre-scheduled dives, tours and meals. Neither of us could drag ourselves away from that fabulous book.

  4. You are living the dream Jerry. I now have this cruise and the Antarctic cruise on my bucket list. I hope you have a great time, and keep the travelogue coming.

  5. Looking at the unspoiled Islands there i cannot help the contrast with Maui and the other damaged Islands of Hawaii. Humans do ruin many things. They call Maui a natural disaster but there is nothing natural about it.

  6. I give my first lecture today: “Why evolution remains true”, acquainting the passengers with what the modern theory of evolution consists of, why it’s both a theory and a fact (like the “germ theory” of disease), and then give them the evidence for evolution.

    I should think there wouldn’t be many evolution deniers wanting to make a trip to the Galápagos, so you’d find a receptive audience.

  7. What can I say, we all know by now from all the great writing here by PCC(E), and contributors, and discussion that evolution has all the facts in its favor – If I could attempt a pep talk soundbite, maybe “set it free!”?

  8. Beside the theory of evolution, we can also list the germ theory of disease, the cell theory, the atomic theory, the kinetic theory of gases, the valence bond theory, etc. The status of the magic word “theory” in these generalizations about reality has been duly noted by the wizards of postmodernism and grievance studies, and they add it to all their incantations. In some cases, particularly literature, they just use the word “Theory” by itself to mean—uhh—hard to say what, but whatever it is, it is BIG.

    1. It’s interesting to note that we had to make do with a Law of gravity for over 200 years before Einstein was able to formulate a Theory to explain it — General Relativity. Laws can specify what happens but to explain things you need a theory.

      1. The Iron Law of Wages (Marx, Engels) | The Iron Law of Woke Projection (James “Conspiracy Theorist” Lindsay).

        Examples abound – I just read one in Marcuse’s One-Dimensional Man.

        In a nutshell, a complaint of some aspect of society in terms of power is a glimpse into how the Woke (meaning Marxists) plan to exert power on society absolutely.

  9. I just wanted to pop in and thank you for taking us along on your adventure. These are such interesting posts!!!

  10. You’ll do a great job. That food looks so good! I would love to go back in time and show Charles Darwin what a modern expedition looks like.

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