~ April 2008 Edition ~www.probusperth.ca ~
and Glen Pettinger
Helga and David Zimmerly's Presentation on the Galapagos Islands
~reviewed by Ernie Trischuk
David and Helga Zimmerly presented many details of their excellent adventure in the Galapagos Islands. Helga opened with a short discussion of the history and geography of these islands and the plants and creatures that inhabit them. She described the 20 person (14 tourists plus crew) cruise boat and its competent naturalist who guided them over 500 miles of sailing and fewer miles of hiking during their visit.
The Galapagos archipelago comprises 4,900 square miles of land and 28,000 square miles of ocean. The islands are volcanic in origin with active volcanoes still in evidence. It is one of the few places on the planet that does not have an indigenous population. The largest ethnic groups are Ecuadorian and Spanish colonists who arrived from mainland Ecuador 600 miles away.
The historical aspects of this World Heritage site began with the voyage of Darwin’s Beagle in 1835. A Charles Darwin research station was established there in1964. Many sailors in the 19th century used tortoises as a mobile source of protein for their voyage as these creatures could live for many weeks in the hold with little or no care. Since that time much damage has been done by the advance of civilization, tourism, and the introduction of non-native plants and animals. Still the indigenous birds, reptiles, fish, plants and animals are plentiful and many of them seem indifferent to the presence of people allowing unusually close encounters.
David used the trip as an excuse to get a new camera and the slide show he presented gave us plentiful evidence of his skill in its use. His close up pictures of the native birds and iguanas were just stunning showing every feather on the birds and every scale on the reptiles. The presentation also had a number of beautiful panoramas of the volcanic lakes and scenic vistas along with a cleverly annotated map which showed the location of each group of pictures. David also treated us to an emulation of the mating dance of the Blue-footed Booby. As David warmed to this dance emulation, Helga suggested that we could easily see how the female Booby could get quite excited at such a display. (you had to be there).
The closing scenes of the slide show displayed a massive number of Blue-footed Boobys diving for fish which had sheltered under their cruise boat. The birds were too numerous to permit the approach of their zodiac, requiring relocation of the cruise ship away from the Booby buffet to recover the returning passengers
Helga told us that although the islands straddle the equator, there is a warm season from December to May and a colder one May to November which is driven by ocean currents. If you plan to visit the Zimmerly’s recommend use of a small cruise boat. Land visits are limited to 17 people, so if you are on a larger ship you have to take turns ashore. You get there via Quito Ecuador with a connector flight to Baltra, the main airport in the Galapagos.
From the Monday Management Team Meeting
Urgent, Probian Needed for Newsletter Editor
We need a Probian for the position of Newsletter Editor for next year. The newsletter is an important communication vehicle with our Probus members and we are hoping that someone will step forward who is interested in writing and editing articles on a monthly basis. There will be support from a roster of reporters who will do the Keynote Speaker. Our webmaster, Colin Stephenson, who works closely with the Newsletter Editor, will help with formatting the Newsletter for printing and posting on the website.
If you feel you can contribute a little time to help keep our vibrant social organization healthy, please speak to one of our nominating committee members: Helen Black (613-264-8507), Keith Brown (613-264-0206), or Ian Doig (613-264-27040.
Our program Coordinators, Ian Doig, (613-264-2707) and Glen Pettinger (613-264-9747) welcome your suggestions for future topics and speakers.
1. Wednesday, May 28: Gananoque 1000 Island Playhouse production of Glorious, with lunch at the Gananoque Inn. $46 each. This is a fun trip, presently we have 24 attending. Sign up for this popular day trip with Denise (613-267-3479).
About The Play: GLORIOUS by Peter Quilter
"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing." A hilarious comedy that has played in 20 countries - based on the real life story of "the worst singer in the world," the irrepressible American socialite diva Florence Foster Jenkins. Florence's eccentric theatrical entourage includes her accompanist Cosme McMoon, her transplanted British husband and a very cranky Spanish maid. For more information see www.1000islandsplayhouse.com
2. Thursday, May 22: Hand Blown Glass Studio Tour in Pakenham. Glass Artist, Chris Van Zanten is a multi-disciplined Glass Artist (www.cvz.ca). There is no charge for the demonstration which lasts about 45 minutes. Car pooling will be arranged. 7 have signed up and there is room for more. Call Denise for information.
3. Monday, June 16: Annual Probus 9 Holes Golf Tournament at the Perth Golf Course. Our organizer, Glen Pettinger would like to have a good turn-out of golfers (experienced and otherwise). Mark your calendars and sign up with Glen. The tee-off times will be starting between 3 and 4 pm. Eater are very welcome to join the hackers for cocktails at 6 pm and a delightful dinner ($25 each) to be served at 7 pm. This is always a good party so come on out and have some summer fun.
4. Wednesday, September 24: Wine Tour of Prince Edward County. w/Heritage Travel. Pleasant bus trip down the Loyalist Highway with a ferry ride across the Bay of Picton. We will be visiting Warpoos & Huff wineries. Lunch will be at the Waring House. Cost $90 each (Please pay by Cheque only). Give your name to Denise.
5. October: Annual Octoberfest! Last year this was a very popular event.
6. December: Annual Christmas Dinner! Everyone has a wonderful time at this social occasion!
Members of other Probus Clubs are welcome to join our special events. If you have ideas for new events or trips, please talk to Denise Mullins (613-267-3479). Note: For all trips, the bus leaves from the Legion.