October 20th, 1835 –
The HMS Beagle has now concluded the end of its Galapagos Islands survey. This is the last day of Charles Darwin’s visit to Galapagos. By this point, Captain Fitzroy, his Officers, and Crew have prepared the vessel for the extra-long 3,200-mile (5,150 kilometers) crossing of the Pacific Ocean. Next Destination: Society Islands (Tahiti).
Sailing conditions are at their prime: trade winds gradually shift into doldrums and the sea will become gentle within the first 4-5 days after departing from the Galapagos.
On this exact day, 182 years ago, Darwin writes formidable observations about the Galapagos as part of his last log entry in his journal; the same journal that later became “The Voyage of the Beagle.” His next entry wouldn’t be until about a month later, but it was during this interlude that Darwin had plenty of time to review his collections, notes, and specimens.
Perhaps, the most powerful conclusion he makes here is the one that coins the real essence of Galapagos: “Considering the small size of the islands, we feel the more astonished at the number of their aboriginal beings and at their confined range.” He magically puts one of his earliest conclusions within the evolutionary fabric of natural selection when he says, “seeing every height crowned with its crater, and the boundaries of most of the lava streams still distinct, we are led to believe that, within a recent geological period, the unbroken ocean was here spread out. Hence, both in space and time, we seem to be brought somewhat near to that great fact — that mystery of mysteries — regarding the first appearance of new beings on this Earth.” No other writer has ever described the Galapagos anything like Darwin’s remarkable and distilled perspective.
From here on out, these writings would come to inspire the next generation of scientists and encourage them to unravel the hidden treasures that the Galapagos hold. This historical and scientific reputation is now one of the biggest “incentives” behind visiting the Enchanted Isles, inviting guests from all over the world to come and witness this unique location.
Nowadays, we can follow Darwin’s footsteps in many different ways. That sense of wanderlust Darwin himself felt still remains throughout the islands for everyone to access. And it’s the exact same feeling that motivated Darwin to see the world and its contents in a completely different way.
That’s why you, dear reader, need to see these islands with plenty of motivation in order to experience the wild ecstasy of wanderlust that Darwin felt. Our Galapagos expedition itineraries cover a lot of sites explored by Charles Darwin himself. The last day of Charles Darwin’s visit to Galapagos might’ve been on a boat, but you can choose to experience it from land, too if you wish. Yacht La Pinta continues to offers guests an unforgettable experience across the seas of Galapagos. Book now and get more than just your average daily dose of nature: get your dose of evolution!
Text & Photography by Francisco “Pancho” Dousdebés – Galapagos Expert