Going to the Galapagos Islands is a dream you have early on as a kid, right after hearing about this Darwin dude figuring out we came from monkeys, and you’re left wondering what did he see there, what did he observe that changed our understanding of ourselves?… Since I was a wee French boy, I remember asking those questions of my parents but they much preferred the Riviera as a summer destination so that thirst never got quenched. Until now…

Boarding the ship and getting used to the constant swerving takes up most of opening day but since all on board are literally on the same boat, it quickly becomes a opportune bonding exercise, figuring out who will be the first to puke. It certainly was wonderful for the kids who knew just about every passenger on a first name basis after that. Upon waking up, we jumped in a panga (né dinghi) and went down to the venerable Post Office, a wood barrel set up by pirates in the 1800s which they used to communicate, the Galapagos being a great place to hide at that time from the long but not apparently not waterproof, arm of the Law. Within its cavernous womb waited hundreds of letters left by tourists like us, hoping for a pickup and subsequent hand delivery in the cities we would return to. What a lovely, analog idea…

Then it was time for a swim!… That, my friends, was just magnificent. To not only glide but play with these creatures so unaffected by human stupidity, yet, that they will cozy up to us, unafraid, was the highlight of the world tour so far for me. I don’t know what superlatives to use for none can rival the images you will see in this film, the toughest I’ve had to edit so far because there were so many of them!…

Española Island and San Cristóbal Island followed, with hikes on which we met red-footed boobies, blue-footed boobies, albatrosses, Iguanas, obvs, more of our sea-lion friends and an incredible number of other species I cannot hope to recall with my tiny, radically un-evolved brain. But one thing became clearer during each outing, Sebastien was the Dr. Doolittle on duty of this particular Love Boat… Everywhere we went, he seemed to share a kinship with the animals no other among us dared experiment with for fear of maiming, or worse. Taking pictures with a sea-lion is one thing, making friends quite another… Sebastien was here for the latter and friendships are what he got, none human, all instinctual…

This was an incredible unveiling of a surprisingly unspoiled world, about which we still have so much to learn, hopefully as fast as possible. Enjoy…

I want to give HUGE thanks to the crew of the Isabella II, especially Kathie who kicked our asses and made us learn about what she’s so obviously passionate about and Francisco, the general manager of the boat, for taking care of the family of six whose needs were slightly off pattern for his vessel…

Read all the stories here.

Or see all the photos directly on Flickr.

Filmed with the iPhone 6.
Augmented by Moment Lenses
Edited with FCPx

Music Selections (in order):

1. Lano By Alva Noto + Ryuichi Sakamoto
2. Horizon Variations By Max Richter
3. Autumn 3 By Max Richter
4. On the Hill By Ryuichi Sakamoto
5. Spring 3 By Max Richter
6. Symbiosis, 1st Movement Moderato Part B By Bill Evans
7. Everybody Loves The Sunshine By Takuya Kuroda
8. Lano (Reprise) By Alva Noto + Ryuichi Sakamoto

All links lead to the iTunes Music Store except 6. which leads to Amazon.

2 Comments Leave a reply

  1. paloma
    Permalink to comment#

    I just saw the Galapagos movie with my parents and we loved it. What a shooting! My mom’s delighted about the harmony between the scenes and the songs. She’s impressed with your abilities. How I miss this trip! Everything! Congrats again for another great movie and thank you for it, specially the last scene at the karaoke with you, Seb, Gina, the captain and the equatorian ladies, which I wasn’t expecting to see again and made me cry. It has been such an amazing night… Our last night… Muchos besos and have fun en Chile!

    • stefan
      Permalink to comment#

      I’m so happy you liked it, thank you! Every time I watch it, I wish I were back there too, maybe we can do this again!

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