September 1835. HMS Beagle approaches the Galapagos

3 June 2011

The ship ploughs on through the waves, powered by nothing more than the wind… What a fine way to spend ones time.

“What a fine way to spend ones time eh Darwin?” Captain Fitzroy remarked as he joined  you gazing over the rail of HMS Beagle.

“Sir, I was just thinking exactly that myself!” you reply, “Will we be nearing the Galapagos soon captain?”

“By my reckoning, in a day or two. A man with your peculiar interests will find much to amuse there I dare say.”

Suddenly a shout from the crows nest – “Land ho!”. 

Captain Fitzroy’s face betrays his embarrassment. “My reckoning is obviously somewhat inaccurate”. He draws out his telescope and scans the horizon. 

 “Yes, we will have reached Chatham Island of the archipelago by dusk Mr Darwin. I know you are keen to get ashore, and I could send you with an advance party this evening if you would like to observe the nocturnal creatures, though I would perhaps prefer you to wait until dawn, when I will be going ashore myself. What do you think Sir?”

If you decide to go ashore with the advance party and spend the night on Chatham Island turn to page 70.

If you advise the Captain you are happy to wait until dawn tomorrow to set foot on land turn to page 80.

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