On Your Bucket List? And an Ikea Warning … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

On Your Bucket List? And an Ikea Warning ...

On Your Bucket List?

If you are a nature photographer and the Galapagos is on your bucket list, please read everything in the trip announcement below carefully. Right now only two folks are signed up. I need to have eight more deposits (likely by the end of September) for the trip to run. If the trip needs to be cancelled, your “non-refundable deposit” will of course be returned. If the trip does go, it will very likely be my last-ever Galapagos trip. IPT veterans, couples, BPN members, and folks registering with one or more friends are invited to e-mail for discount info.

Ikea Warning

On May 10, after visiting two Ikea stores in two different states I went online and ordered a bed and two very nice cabinets. Delivery was promised several times greatly inconveniencing Jim when they never showed up. Finally in mid-June the order was delivered. But. One of the cartons was severely damaged. The driver suggested that it was best to refuse the shipment and return everything. So that is what Jim did. It is now July 26. Amy has literally spent spent more than 20 hours waiting for their customer service (customer dis-service?) to pick up. Several times it was promised that a supervisor would call. That never happened. Last night Amy waited more than an hour to talk to an agent and then another hour to speak to a supervisor. He said, “Your stuff will be there on August 8.” Amy asked, “Are you positive?” He said, “No. The delivery company never let us (Ikea) know that the shipment was damaged.” (We had been doing that for well more than a month.) Then he hung up on Amy.

We will be cancelling the order this morning.

The GALAPAGOS Photo Cruise of a Lifetime IPT/The Complete Galapagos Photographic Experience

July 23-06 to August 6, 2019 on the boat. 13 FULL and two half-days of photography: $14,499. Limit: 12 or 13 photographers plus the leader. This trip needs ten clients to run. All deposits and payments will be returned in the unlikely event that the trip does not run.

This trip is THE best Galapagos Photo-Cruise in the world. By far. No one else offers a trip that visits the top three world-class landings twice each. What does this trip offer? The world’s best Galapagos guide, a killer itinerary, a great boat (the Samba), a great crew, and me, with ten Galapagos Photo-cruises under my belt. Pre-trip gear suggestions and advice and twice-daily, pre-landing, location-specific briefings. In-the-field photo instruction and guidance. Jeez, I almost forgot: fine dining at sea! Do know that there are one-week Galapagos trips (six full and two half- days on the boat “from $9995”! (If you think I am exaggerating, click here.) Thus, this trip represents a tremendous value; why go all that way and miss half of the great photographic locations? And why not visit the three very best spots twice each?

The great spots that we will visit include Tower Island — including Darwin Bay (almost surely twice!) and Prince Phillips Steps, Hood Island (including Punta Suarez, the world’s only nesting site of Waved Albatross (almost surely twice!), and Gardner Bay — each of the preceding are world class wildlife photography designations that rank right up there with Antarctica, Africa, and Midway. We will also visit Fernandina, Puerto Ayora for the tortoises and Darwin’s Finches, Puerto Egas—James Bay, and North Seymour (almost surely twice) for nesting Blue-footed Boobies and both frigatebird species in most years, South Plaza for Land Iguanas and seabirds, Floreana for Greater Flamingoes, and Urbina Bay, all spectacular in their own right. We visit every great spot on a single trip. Plus lots more.

There will be lots of opportunities to snorkel on sunny middays for those like me who wish to partake. (The park service does not approve our second visits to the same great locations until right before the trip; we have never been turned down. We will be the first boat on each island in the morning and the last boat to leave each island every afternoon. If we are blessed with overcast skies, we will often spend 5+ hours at the best sites. And as noted above, mid-day snorkeling is an option on most sunny days depending on location and conditions. On the 2015 trip most snorkeled with many thousands dolphins. I eased off the zodiac to find hundreds of dolphins swimming just below me.

Note that some of the walks are on the difficult side. Great images are possible on all landings with either a hand held 70-200mm lens and a 1.4X teleconverter or an 80- or 100-400mm lens. In the past, I have taken a longer lens ashore on most landings as they better fit my style. In 2017 I took the then brand-new Canon 400mm DO lens and the Canon 500mm f/4 L IS II lens (with both teleconverters). In 2019 I anticipate taking at least my Nikon 200-500 and my 80-400 VR. Along with the 24-120.

The Logistics

SUN July 21, 2019: Arrive in Guayaquil a day early to ensure that you do not miss the boat.

MON July 22, 2019: Introductory sessions.

TUES July 23, 2019: We fly to the archipelago and board the Samba. Heck, on the 2017 trip some folks made great images at the dock in Baltra while our luggage was being loaded!

TUES: August 6, 2019: We disembark late morning and fly back to Guayaquil midday; most will overnight there.

Most will fly home on the early morning of August 7 unless they are staying on or going elsewhere (or catching a red-eye flight on the evening of the August 6).

$14,499 includes just about everything: all transfers, guide and park fees, all food on the boat, transfers and ground transportation, your flights to the archipelago, and three nights (double occupancy) in a top notch hotel in Guayaquil. If you are good to go, a non-refundable deposit of $5,000 per person is due immediately. The second payment of $5,000 is not due until 12/1/18. The final payment of $4,499 per person will be due on 3/1/19.

Again, this trip needs ten participants to run so please do not book your flights until you learn that we are good to go. Purchasing travel insurance within 2 weeks of our cashing your deposit check is strongly recommended. On two fairly recent cruises a total of 5 folks were forced to cancel less than one week prior to the trip. My family and I use Travel Insurance Services and strongly recommend that you do the same.

Not included: your round trip airfare from your home to and from Guayaquil, beverages on the boat, phone calls, your meals in Guayaquil, personal items, and an $800/person cash tip for the crew and the guide to be shared by our guide and the 7 folks who will be waiting on us hand and foot every day for two weeks. The service is so wonderful that many folks choose to tip extra.

The Itinerary

Sunday, July 21, 2019: Fly to Guayaquil arriving a day early to ensure that you do not miss the boat.

Monday, July 22, 2019: Introductory sessions.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019: We fly to the archipelago and board the Samba. Heck, on the 2017 trip some folks made great images at the dock in Baltra while our luggage was being loaded!

On the Boat

Day 1: Tuesday, July 23, PM North Seymour

Day 2: Wednesday, July 24, Genovesa: AM Darwin Bay, PM Prince Phillips´ Steps

Day 3: Thursday, July 25, Marchena: AM Playa Negra, PM Navigation to Isabela

Day 4: Friday, July 26, Isabela: AM Punta Albemarle, PM Punta Vicente Roca

Day 5: Saturday, July 27, AM Fernandina: Punta Espinoza, PM Isabela: Bahía Urbina

Day 6: Sunday, July 28, Isabela: AM Elizabeth Bay, PM Punta Moreno

Day 7: Monday, July 29, Floreana: AM Post Office Bay, PM Punta Cormorant

Day 8: Tuesday, July 30, Santa Cruz: AM Highlands and Lunch, PM free time in the city with internet access.

Day 9: Wednesday, July 31, Española: AM Gardner Bay, PM Punta Suárez

Day 10: Thursday, August 01, Española: AM Punta Suarez, PM Navigation to San Cristóbal

Day 11: Friday, August 02, San Cristóbal. AM Isa Lobos (only until 9 am), PM Punta Pitt

Day 12: Saturday, August 03, AM Santa Fe, PM South Plaza

Day 13: Sunday, August 04, Genovesa: AM Darwin Bay, Navigation to Santiago

Day 14: Monday, August 05, AM James Bay, PM Rábida

Day 15: Tuesday, August 06, North Seymour from 06 to 09 am. We disembark late morning and fly back to Guayaquil midday; most will overnight there.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019: Fly home.

I hope that you can join us on what will surely be a rich and rewarding photographic experience.


In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).

6 comments to On Your Bucket List? And an Ikea Warning …

  • Jim McMillan

    My wife and I just sent the first installment for the trip. The check is literally in the mail. I sent it certified mail with return receipt. I sent you a follow-up e-mail yesterday but you have not responded so making sure you know we are going on the trip.

  • Clemens Vanderwerf

    It would be way quicker to jump in the car and drive to Ikea in Tampa, pick your own boxes, etc., and drive back to ILE. Four hours max!! They do have nice beds.

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Clemens. I was there but did not think that the bed and the mattress and the parts for the two cabinets would fit in the SUV …

      with love, artie

  • frank sheets

    I will second John’s comments. The Galapagos was on my bucket list and I would never hesitate to go with Artie and Juan again, but I have a problem, I have too many other things on my bucket list. Unfortunately one has to pick and choose. Highly recommended.

  • Hi Everyone,

    As a veteran of three (3) Galapagos IPTs with Artie and Juan Salcedo (4 weeks total), I can attest that they are a peak experience. I’d be tempted to go on this one, but I’m getting on a bit. You’ll find photos on my website.

    John Van de Graaff