Serving as both an object lesson and a cautionary tale, the image was enough to send a shiver down any sailor's spine. We were on our final approach to Academy Bay, at Isla Santa Cruz in the heart of the Galapagos archipelago, when we spied the three cockeyed masts not far from the harbor entrance. This was clearly a fresh shipwreck, and we later learned that the big charter vessel had come to grief only a week before our arrival. A navigation light had blinked out, and the skipper reportedly mistook Santa Cruz for a neighboring island; remarkably, it was the second ship he'd lost. The crew and the passengers all escaped safely, but the message was crystal clear. Even in well-traveled, supposedly familiar waters, an extremely bad day is just a submerged rock away.