''A sea lion kept dive-bombing me until I looked up from my macro photography'' After crossing the equator, Lammer Law set sail for Roca Redonda, a tiny sentinel of an island on the western edge of the Galapagos Islands. Here, on one of my most memorable dives ever, a sea lion kept dive-bombing me until I looked up from my macro photography and then, Lassie-like, she escorted me out from the wall just as an immense whale shark materialized out of the gloom. The three of us swam together in the depths for a small piece of eternity (the sea lion being the most graceful of the trio) and just as I began to wonder about finding my way home, they lead me back to the underwater cliff-face of Roca Redonda. As I swam up to the shallows, through thick schools of fish and fleeting Galapagos and hammerhead sharks, I waved a sad good bye to my two new friends.That's the thing about the Galapagos; it always give you more than you bargained for. And we can think of no better way to explore these timeless islands than aboard the Lammer Law. After three charters on this 95 foot sailing trimaran we're hooked. While maintaining a sense of intimacy, everything about this boat is big: a huge top deck perfect for whale watching while underway, a mammoth aft deck where sit-down gourmet meals are served, a giant main salon complete with comfy couches perfect for dive briefings, socializing and between-dive naps. Surrounding the salon are eight hotel-room-sized staterooms, each with its own en-suite bathroom (complete with conventional flush toilet and shower). Even though the boat is air-conditioned throughout, we usually opt for the cool breezes accessed through dozens of large hatches. All 16 passengers are guaranteed to be treated to a week of luxury, fine dining and lots of personal attention. A crew of 9, including two trained naturalist guides, take care of everything.Harking back to Darwin's time, the Lammer Law often travels through these enchanted islands under sail. Accompanied by dolphins, wheeling birds and oftentimes whales and orcas, these peaceful crossings are a reflective highlight of the trip. If you're looking for an action packed diving adventure this is it. Days are full from dawn to dark. And you'll love every minute of it. When you're not underwater swimming with sharks, turtles, rays and even penguins; you'll be walking ashore in Darwin's foot steps. Every island is different. On Hood we watched, enthralled, as courting pairs of waved albatrosses performed their majestic mating dance and a hundred yards away blue footed boobies did their slightly loopy one. Isla Fernandina offered marine iguanas piled up like cord wood, trying to warm their chilled bodies after grazing on algae underwater and a flightless cormorant emerged from the sea with a oversized piece of seaweed which he presented to his mate. Colonies of sea lions, sea birds and myriad other creatures abound. The running commentary of the naturalist guides adds immeasurably to your understanding and enjoyment. Everywhere you turn you're seeing nature close-up and in your face. It's an experience you can find only in the Galapagos.
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