Charles Darwin's expedition to the Galápagos Islands aboard the HMS Beagle departed Plymouth Sound 181 years and three days ago; the voyage lasted nearly five years.
This morning, I'll be flying from Quito to the Galápagos Islands on AeroGal for a seven-day family vacation; our return to California will involve four flights but still take far less time than the return aboard HMS Beagle. While in Ecuador, we visited the equator, the longest "great circle" on the planet since Earth's diameter is larger around the equator than through the poles. We also got a distant view of Quito's new airport which is scheduled to open in February.
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Karl L. Swartz.
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