As Seen From the Glass-bottom Boat

View of the sea floor from the glass-bottom boat

During our Galapagos Islands tour, we were lucky to see what lives in the islands’ waters via a glass-bottom boat.

Connie and I took three such excursions. All were wonderful, and all gave us views of different sea life.

I took many photographs, but getting quality shots was a real challenge. There was a lot of glare to contend with, shadows of fellow passengers that cluttered many images, and the boat was in constant motion, making getting focused very hard.

There were ample opportunities to snorkel during the tour. That viewing method allowed participants to stay fixed on a specific subject and snap as many phone photos as they wanted. That assumes, of course, that they had protection for their phone.

Why I Didn’t Snorkel

I am a weak swimmer—a very weak swimmer. I have tried many times in my life to learn to swim. After a few weeks in a focused swimming class, I learned well enough to get into Navy Boot Camp. Even though I passed the class, completed the entrance swimming exam, and participated in another survival swim event midway through Boot Camp, I never grew comfortable in the water.

However, I tried to suck it up. With an inflatable vest to improve my buoyancy and an excellent mentor who assured me of a safe experience, I gave it a go during the first snorkeling excursion.

The fact that I am writing this means that I didn’t drown. However, the fact that I went on the glass-bottom boat three times hints that it was not a smooth training session.

I was eventually able to relax and breathe through the snorkel. After a while, moving around was pretty easy, and I could see some pretty fish up close. However, I did not enjoy the experience even a little bit. If it had not been for the naturalist guide and my exceptionally close friend Pat, I would not have gotten to the point where breathing through the snorkel was possible, much less snorkeling for a short time.

I share this because I think it is important that everyone knows their strengths and weaknesses. Most importantly, to know when to say, “Okay, I gave that a go. Now, let’s remember never to do it again.”

This was the best of about 100 photographs taken through the glass of the glass-bottom boat.

Final Notes From Our Galapagos Adventure

First, thank my very good friend Pat McGahan for inviting us on this trip. Second, I acknowledge the Naval Academy Alumni Association for their generosity in allowing non-Naval Academy alumni to travel as guests of alumni.

I downloaded photos taken that day during our precious downtime on the ship. Then, I made my first pass at deleting the obvious throwaways. Over 1,000 photos came home on my computer. I now have 971 photos in various files on my computer. I have published 56 photos here. There are possibly 50 – 60 more that will eventually be posted on my Fine Art America page. I have also posted several on social media.

This trip has resulted in my largest single trip volume of photographs. While I enjoyed taking all these photographs, the real thrill is being able to share as many of them as I have. I have relived the trip with every file of photos I opened to choose photos for publication. What an adventure!

Scroll to Top