Photo credit: Pete Oxford
The Galapagos archipelago, on everyone’s bucket list, is one of the planet’s last wild and incredible places. We will walk on bare lava, come face to face with blue-footed boobies, wander the highlands for giant tortoises, swim with penguins and sharks, snorkel with green sea turtles and be surrounded by yellow-tailed surgeonfish. All while studying and logging plastic found in and around the waters of the island that inspired Charles Darwin’s work.
SUGGESTED PACKING LIST
Waterproof case for phone
Clothing (quick drying):
Sandals, such as Tevas (water resistant, with a strap) for boats, and relaxing
Casual, rubber soled walking shoes or boat shoe for walking on deck
2 bathing suits
2-3 pairs of shorts (or skirts/sundresses)
1-3 pairs of long pants for sun protection, bug protection, and nighttime warmth
1-3 long-sleeved shirts (loose and lightweight)
1-7 pairs of socks
1 sun hat (wide brim or baseball cap)
1 fleece, sweater, and /or windbreaker
1 wool cap
1 foul-weather jacket or raincoat
Extra pair of prescription glasses or contacts
Prescription medication (complete with instructions on dosage)
Swimmer's Ear drops and ear plugs
Insect repellent (with DEET)
Sun screen and lip balm/ chap stick (with SPF 30 or higher)
Coral safe sunscreen
For detailed itinerary, click here.
Day 1, July 26th: Guayaquil
Day 2, July 27th: Baltra Island, Santa Cruz Island Highlands
Visit the world-renowned Charles Darwin Research Station to learn more about the history and science of the islands.
Day 3, July 28th: Floreana Island: Punta Cormorant
We walk through mangroves and unique vegetation. Exhilarating snorkeling off the Devil’s Crown, a sunken cinder cone with turtles, rays and even some hammerhead sharks.
Day 4, July 29th: Floreana Island: Black Beach
Navigate the rich waters of the western islands to spot whales and dolphins.
Day 5, July 30th: Isabela Island: Punta Moreno
The ‘wilder’ side of the Galapagos, we will hike on superb pahoehoe lava flows in search of endemic plants and a brackish lagoon.
Day 6, July 31th: Isabela Island: Urbina Bay
The world’s largest, most pristine island, we land directly into the heart of Darwin’s ‘Imps of Darkness,’ the marine iguana ‘capital’ of the world.
Day 7, August 1st: Isabela Island: Tagus Cove
A hike to an overview of a flooded crater, Darwin’s Lake, and onward through a stunning volcanic landscape for a true understanding of how the hot lava of the Earth’s core has molded the Galapagos Islands
Day 8, August 2nd: Santiago Island: Espumilla Beach
The land of pirates and buccaneers! Hike to submerged lava grottos where we will commune with endemic fur seals that consider the grottos home.
Day 9, August 3rd: North Seymour Island & Baltra Airport
Here we will enter the habitat of another kind of pirate: the frigatebird. These birds are known for stealing the meals of smaller birds and frequently even shake boobies in mid-air to force them to regurgitate their prize.
Educational lectures: All guests participate in lectures and workshops aimed at educating on plastic pollution and related solution. All participants are trained in the protocols used to collect microplastic samples during the trip;
Microplastic samples in surface waters: A modified neuston net called a manta trawl is used to skim the surface of the ocean by towing the piece of equipment for a known distance. Any plastic pieces collected by the manta trawl is counted and used to determine microplastic concentrations;
Microplastic sampling on sandy beaches: Sand is sieved in specific locations to understand microplastic concentrations on the beaches; and
Waste Audits: Beach and waste cleanups are carried out in a variety of locations, ranging from beaches to streets, to understand the types of trash and brands.
S/S Mary Anne Galapagos is a sailing vessel that redefines comfort. Aboard the 216 ft. (65.84 m) barquentine, the journey becomes an uncomplicated form of indulgence. Full sail navigation on a large ship like the S/S Mary Anne is probably one the best experiences in Galapagos. Being an imposing 3-masted vessel, you will discover her sails are not only for show off. The sails will be hoisted on every itinerary and passengers can photograph this spectacle from the panga. She is the only ship in the Galapagos Archipelago that can navigate by wind power alone. Maybe you will be interested in helping to hoist the sails?
What we hope to find:
Visit several communities in the Galapagos Archipelago to explore the natural environment through snorkeling, hiking, and local tours. Work with local organizations to share information about environmental issues impacting the local area.
Train all participants to be 5 Gyres Ambassadors and stewards of our ocean through lectures and daily activities.
Learn about local solutions and efforts to address plastic pollution from environmental group representatives on both legs of the Expeditions.
Educate 5 Gyres global community about the solutions to plastic pollution and share the beauty of Indonesia.
Collect new microplastic data for the 5 Gyres Global Dataset that will be used to estimate plastic pollution globally.
belize EXPEDITION (2017)
5 Gyres joined the Hello Ocean Expedition to research environmental threats to the Belize Barrier Reef, the second-largest barrier reef in the world. The crew included scientists, artists and filmmakers, who assisted in marine mammal and plastic pollution research. For the first time, 5 Gyres was able to collect microplastic samples alongside scientists researching toxins, genetics, and animal behavior in dolphins and manatees. We are excited to better connect the issue of plastic pollution to marine mammal health! Data will contribute to our Global Estimate of Plastic Pollution, which was the first to assess the quantities of surface plastic pollution in the ocean, finding 5.25 trillion particles weighing in at 270,000 tons of “plastic smog” worldwide.
ARCTIC EXPEDITION (2016)
Our 17th Expedition gathered a group of 22 citizen scientists for two weeks on the Arctic exploration vessel Akademik Sergey Vavilov. The expedition primarily focused on micro- and nanoplastic research. It was managed by ExploringCircle, which donates a percentage of proceeds to non-profit organizations like 5 Gyres, and was the first to share real-time data and photo updates with our community.
SEA CHANGE EXPEDITION (2015)
As documented in the "Smog of the Sea" film directed by Ian Cheney, our 2015 SEA Change Expedition traveled over 3000 nautical throughout the North Atlantic Gyre with a crew of 64 citizen scientists. Along with the Schooner Mystic crew of 14 sailors, the voyage also transported representatives from other nonprofit organizations and research facilities, as well as notable watermen and women, such as musician and activist Jack Johnson and ocean conservation activist Celine Cousteau.
VIKING GYRE EXPEDITION (2014)
5 Gyres' Expedition from Bermuda to Iceland was designed with the intention to better understand the distribution of plastic pollution in the North Atlantic Subpolar Gyre. The 14-person crew collected 41 samples to determine microplastic concentrations in the region and carried out 40 visual observations to track the macroplastic pollution in the area. Data contributed to 5 Gyres' first Global Estimate of Plastic Pollution.
Previous 5 Gyres Expeditions
2013 Bermuda to Rhode Island
2013 Lake Michigan
2012 Japan to Hawaii
2012 Marshall Islands to Hawaii
2012 Lakes Superior, Huron and Erie
2011 Hawaii to Vancouver
2011 Easter Island to Tahiti
2011 Chile to Easter Island
2011 Namibia to Uruguay
2010 Brazil to South Africa
2010 Ascension Island
2010 Bermuda to Azores
2010 Bahamas to Bermuda