Next time, I’ll use the Pony Express. A letter dropped off July 13 at the Galapagos’ famous barrel-cum-mailbox in Post Office Bay still hadn’t arrived after almost a month. Tradition is to blame. For centuries, mariners visiting the famous Ecuadorian isles have relied on the unspoken duty of fellow pirates, whalers and now cruisers to get their letters to the intended destination. A pirate would leave a dispatch, then pick through the stack with his hook for missives he could personally deliver (travel schedule allowing).
Our guide from the 48-passenger La Pinta, Ramiro, pulled out a bundle from the (replica) barrel and began rattling off addresses. Silver Spring, Maryland. Tacoma, Washington. San Francisco — “We’ll take that one,” yelped an excited passenger from Northern California.
Walnut Creek, California. Direct hit!
And so on went the game of postcard Battleship. As we contorted to avoid the wasps, the geography broadened to include Italy, Ireland, Hong Kong and New Jersey. My adopted hometown of Boston didn’t make the list, so I dropped off my postcard — a note written to a my lady who had stayed onboard, scared off by the threat of swarming insects.
I returned home from the cruise. I forgot about the postcard. And then, on August 13, a 4.5″ by 6.5″ piece of thick-stock paper, the corners slightly worn, materialized. An accompanying note explained that the postcard was dropped off by an area resident and fellow member of the Galapagos cruise club.
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