Most Galapagos tour operators' blurb hypes the life on land see the giant tortoises, etc. But a visitor who goes there without taking at even a glimpse at the underwater life is missing at least half the picture. The islands are oases in an ocean desert. Along the Galapagos coasts the color and liveliness exceed anything above the waves. Yet there's a profound serenity here. As you take some breaths, and descend into the cool waters to free dive down a fathom or two, the waves close over muffling sound. Along a convoluted rock face, the fish placidly swim along. Above, the wind ruffles the waves. All around is amethyst blue, into the infinite depths.