Imagine clear turquoise waters, a blazing sun, and stepping onto a cruise ship that is about to float you all the way to the place where Darwin found his inspiration for his groundbreaking work in ecology, science, and understanding the world itself.
Amy & Jackson garnered over 1,000 votes last year for their Happy Hearts Love Sharks contest entry to win the grand prize trip to the Galapagos for going Fin Free at their wedding to protect sharks. Wanting to save the trip for a time they could commemorate their special day, they recently just came back from their grand prize cruise for their one-year anniversary.
What is it like to visit such a historic and magical place? This is what Amy said:
- Were you excited about your trip? How did you prepare for it? Were there any special items that you brought with you? It was our dream to visit the Galapagos Islands, so we were SUPER excited! The Galapagos Islands were truly an amazing place. There were something that blew us away every day! We did some research about the islands, the animals, history, and culture prior the trip. We brought binoculars, underwater camera, lots and lots of sunscreen, motion-sickness pills, water shoes, and snorkeling gear.
- What is the funniest thing that happened on your trip? When we first saw Giant Tortoises, a male tortoise was trying to climb on top of another tortoise to be in the mating position. We were puzzled to see the tortoise below kept struggling to escape! (Yes…everything happened in slow motion!) However, the one on top didn’t give up and was still aggressively trying to climb on top of the other yet kept failing to do so. Then, our guide suddenly said “Oh! They are both male Tortoises!”
- What is the most beautiful thing that happened on your trip? There were lots of “National Geographic” moments where we stopped in front of a small island in the middle of the ocean on our speedboat, surrounded by numerous wildlife unique to the island – from blue-footed boobies to Galapagos penguins to marine iguanas. The whole trip from beginning to the end was beautiful.
- What was it like to see sharks in person for the first time? It was a mesmerizing breathtaking moment seeing more than a dozen Galapagos sharks and a baby Hammerhead swimming below us while snorkeling (not even scuba diving!!). We were just overjoyed and stunned! We would love to go back someday to scuba dive and see whale sharks!
- What do you have to say to couples that are on the fence about taking shark fin off their banquet menu? There won’t be another opportunity as unique as your wedding for you to gather all your family and friends. Use this opportunity wisely to educate them about the importance in conserving sharks and take action to save sharks together! So, it’s time to break the tradition and do the right thing! Be open and honest about your decision with both parents. You may find that they are more receptive and supportive about it than you can imagine!
- Is there anything else you’d like to share with us? It was a one year anniversary gift that we have never dreamt of receiving. We would like to thank Shark Truth, Flight Centre, G Adventures, and all those who have supported us. All of you have made our dreams come true! We are forever grateful!
Check out some photos from their trip on Flickr.