I returned a few days ago from the longest travels of my life. Eight plane rides, over 500 miles at sea, twelve anchorages, seven islands, dozens of landings, hikes, snorkel expeditions. I'm back, but only physically. Much of my mind and, truth to tell, my emotions are still centered on the Galapagos.

What can I say, in just a few words, about the adventures I have been having?

It's been at times jaw-droppingly beautiful, savage, puzzling. The Islands are unforgettable, even if the boat was often unspeakable.

Anyway, I have been indelibly marked by the islands. Truly, at times you are a spectator in prehistory, and everything seems pregnant with memory and meaning. And, since my video camera made it through the tumult unscathed, I have documentation of some of what I've seen, and in HD. The project of editing the nearly 11 hours and over 770 segments of video promises to occupy me for some time to come, and provide all manner of food for thought.

Soon enough. In the meantime, here is an extremely low-res, clumsy montage of five of those segments.

It's kind of frustrating, actually: even on my laptop, I'm only seeing about 85 percent of the pixels that are encoded at 1920 X 1080, and in order to make the montage, I first had to convert the HD to SD, then edit, which introduces more artifacts. The bottom line is that to really do the HD right I'm going to have to invest in software and hard disk storage. Which I will, because I want to do this right.