OK, so I was wrong about this book - it's not about Aubrey and Maturin taking a trip to the Galapagos. It's more of a "disaster at sea" type of book where they have the worst possible string of bad luck on their ship, the Leopard, which is destined for Australia with a cargo hold full of convicts - not Captain Aubrey's favourite assignment thus far. Things just keep getting worse and worse from the time they leave shore. First, most of the crew comes down with "gaol-fever" (ie, typhus) and a bunch of them die. Then they get picked on by a Dutch ship that is much bigger, has way more crew and outguns them by a ridiculous amount. And it gets worse, but I don't want to give away the whole story. Let me just say that the horrible-sounding Desolation Island becomes a sort of paradise to them when they finally reach it.
This is much more the type of stuff I want out of this series - most of the action takes place at sea! Never mind complicated schemes to recapture islands from the French.