|Beagle (not at the Galapagos)|
Today is the anniversary of the arrival of HMS Beagle at the Galapagos Islands. It could very nearly have been HMS Chanticleer, but 'Voyage of the Chanticleer' wouldn't have had the same ring.
Beagle was at sea for just short of five years (December 1831 to October 1836) on its second voyage under FitzRoy, but it's the five weeks spent at the Galapagos that are remembered. During this time, Darwin visited four of the 18 islands, taking samples and making copious notes. From his diary entries, it seems that he wasn't particularly impressed with the place - yet it was the surprising variation between the species of mockingbird found on each island which shaped his thought on natural selection.
Both Darwin and FitzRoy are on my long-list to blog about (as is Beagle 2), and one day I will get around to it.