Five days of snorkelling in dodgy rental fins had irritated my right toe, and one ear was feeling unpleasantly full all the time, so I spent the day above water wishing that I'd brought a copy of David Foster Wallace's A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again to read to make a change from the books on behavioural economics I'd loaded my Kindle with. The m/y Darwin was very different from DFW's m/v Nadir, of course, sleeping only sixteen rather than hundreds, and with very little "pampering"* available.
I've always felt rather ambivalent about snorkelling: on one hand it's an easy way to see amazing things below water without much specialised equipment or training; on the other, whenever there's a nice bit of reef there always seems to be a dozen people who can barely swim thrashing around in the water above it, disturbing the wildlife and kicking up the sea bed. Diving masks are well known to restrict your field of vision and make it hard to judge distances, and so if you're anywhere near an inexperienced snorkeler you're very likely to get kicked or sideswiped†. Back in the days when I went scuba diving semi-regularly I always tried to stay well clear of the shoals of snorkelers, ideally several metres below them, and to be very careful when ascending. In fairness, the boat's crew were very helpful with people who hadn't been snorkelling before, even providing full-face masks and lifejackets to people who couldn't swim, and pulling them around the reefs with the lifebuoy.
This wasn't the best day to skip the snorkelling: above water, Santiago doesn't have a great deal of wildlife that we hadn't already seen. We did find a few fur seals napping by the shore, though.
It rained very hard after lunch. Some of the cabins leaked quite badly - we got away with a small dribble of rain water coming through the roof onto Susan's bunk. The crew jumped into action once we told them about it, and managed to clean it up and, somehow, to dry out the bedding with towels. The cabin was pretty damp all week, although running the air conditioning in dehumidifying mode every night made it bearable. This definitely wasn't a ship for claustrophobes. The below-decks cabins have narrow bunks with hardly any headroom, and very little ventilation. The premium cabins are a level up, and have windows that open, which is very nice in good weather. Some of them leaked quite a bit in the rain, and the fact that you had to go outside to reach them would have been unpleasant if there had been a storm.
* Footnote (of course) to quote DFW on this particular verb: "the fact that contemporary adult Americans also tend to associate the word 'pamper' with a certain other consumer product is not an accident". This usage has spread widely in the two decades since ASFTINDA was first written: in Singapore it's almost impossible to avoid breathless advertising for hotels, spas, and massages that promises that "blend of relaxation and stimulation, stressless indulgence and frantic tourism, that special mix of servility and condescension that's marketed under configurations of the verb 'to pamper.'" (DFW, again)
† We quickly learned who was safe to swim near, and whose approach required immediate evasive action.