Again I have had a great holiday with Exodus and will no doubt be travelling with them again.
The trip notes etc are very helpful, but here are a few points that would make them even more helpful and would avoid people taking unnecessary items or having trouble fitting things in on the return trip.
I had never been on a yacht and assumed the cabins would be about the same as on the Vavilov/Ioffe ships on the polar trips. But the Cachalotte cabins are much smaller with minimal storage space. Thankfully I used a rucksack that could squash down to fit in the small space under the bunk. If you are sharing with a stranger, storage space is even more limited.
The Cachalotte and Napo provided bathroom towels and biodegradeable soap and shampoo, so you don't need to take these. The Cachalotte also provided beach towels.
The flight to Napo bans all pressurised aerosols, so take a roll-on deodorant for that bit of the trip. The Quito hotel will store any items that you don't need for Napo.
Don't bother with a washing line or pegs - there are pegs on the Cachalotte so that you can hang your washing on the wire handrail on deck.
As soon as you arrive on the Cachalotte and when you arrive at Napo, you are given a 1 litre refillable drinking bottle to use and keep, so don't bother taking one. (although a Camelbak is handy when walking carrying a camera).
The Cachalotte also give you a tee shirt, so that is one less to take.
Day one in the Galapagos visits the Darwin Research Centre, where you can buy decent tee-shirts for $15, so that's another one you don't need to take.
The bouyancy aids worn whilst on the pangas that take you ashore each day are perfectly adequate for a total non-swimmer to use when snorkelling. It would be a great shame to miss the snorkelling just because you are not confident in the water.
Most days the water was warm when snorkelling but in a couple of places it was chilly so a summer shortie wetsuit would be handy but not essential.
The Cachalotte had a couple of walking sticks (one may have been a broom handle!) that are useful on a couple of the walks on trickier terrain. It would be useful if they had a few more proper walking poles so that people do not have to carry their own.
The trip notes suggest taking plastic beach shoes for wet landings. I took them and never used them. For most walks, trekking sandals (preferably closed toes) are sufficient. But as you are required to wash your shoes each time you get back on board ship to avoid transfer of seeds etc to the next island, your shoes are going to get wet anyway. And for days when walking boots are needed, use your sandals to land, then dry your feet and change to boots.
I was expecting to sit on hard seats in the Napo boats but was pleased to find that they had comfy cushions. They also provide ponchos for if it is raining heavily (but you should still take your own waterproofs).
When returning home, do not buy duty free booze if you have to change planes in the USA or EU. Even though it may be in a sealed duty free shop bag and you have the receipts, it will still be confiscated by security and you will not be allowed to take it on your connecting flight. I lost $25 worth.
And here are a few suggestions for improvements:
The Cachalotte needs to keep a bigger stock of tee shirts so that everyone can get the right size. Several people had to make do with what they were given.
All guides should carry a first aid kit on every outing. A fall on sharp lava or a spikey plant can cause nasty injuries.
It would be useful to have a computer on board that could be used to backup camera memory cards onto a CD or DVD.
As we waste so much time in Quito in case there are delays etc, have a second contingency free half day trip to the cable car or other attraction for days when everything goes smoothly and to schedule.