We had an amazing day at the Natural History Museum in London a few weeks ago, part of our preparations for the Galapagos trip. Many, many thanks to Karen James for arranging a biologist’s dream day behind-the-scenes.It was a pleasure to meet everyone going with us to the Galapagos as well as Steppes the travel agents, who have done a thorough job in preparing things. It was great to see the Amys again and to meet Karen, who had been too busy barcoding organisms to come to the announcement at the British Science Festival:

Among the things we saw were the Darwin letter to his wife, Emma, asking her to publish On the Origin of Species in the event of his untimely demise, a signed first edition of the book, a preserved giant squid (pictured above, including a close up of the tentacles – the suckers were bigger than a £2 coin!) and some of the original specimens collected from the voyage of the Beagle with Charles Darwin’s labels still intact.  Awesome!!  I have really developed a taste for all things Galapagos.

While working on the risk assessment for the trip, the news came in from Quito about the President!!  How do we allow for that!!?  Thankfully things seem to have calmed down. Can’t wait ’til our departure next Friday.