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Anthem Adrift
Officials Time Out
04/22/2014, Islas Galapagos - Temporary Digression

Tuesday 22 April 2014

Ref. yesterday, churlish it is, as uncharitable port captain requires more pristine tushy. Not terribly fussed as there were heavy barnacles under keel and a little soft growth. Appreciate recent vigor in attempting to return Islands closer to unspoiled past, but, after all, we had been there 6 days and barnacles are everywhere. Should have seen the mess before La Cruz effort. Turns out, due orientation of various islands, a return trip of 110 NM is required. Bollocks! At least, so far, sea is glassy smooth so boat won't squirm so much as we change her nappy.

On brighter side, agent states no loss of time here as we will have 15 days after return and no seals besmirched transom steps or deck last night, although a few sloshed around stern looking for a chink (notwithstanding Hylas are built in Taiwan, shame on you Cal for assuming ethnic slur).

Given current state of affairs, project Friday ferry to Santa Cruz as location of Darwin Research Center and base for exploring other islands. Isla Isabela has penguins... on the equator. Is that cool or what? Diving spectacular Kicker Rock, alleged locale of excellent fauna such as Galapagos, hammerhead and whale sharks, will wait until return.

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it." - W. C. Fields

Jack

Getting The Poop
04/21/2014, Islas Galapagos

Monday 21 April 2014

After massive effort yesterday (flipping through owner's manual) discovered location of winch control box under nav seat. Winch returned to service following crimping of loose fuse holder. Finished epoxying and screwing sole grate for first test - so far so good. Removed mast track end snubber (badly corroded due insufficient application of appropriate goo) and replaced cleaned and re-screened dorade box vents. Felt incredibly productive and virtuous, so Taxi Aquaticoed into town for excellent repast and Chili's finest celebratory vina tinto. Not to worry, relentless battle against scurvy was joined prior to departing boat.

Anthem's reverse, stepped transom is wonderfully convenient for onboard inhabitants, but also, alas, as a sea lion perch and easy passage aboard. Fenders strategically placed first day worked for one night until the critters figured it out - deck subsequently full of seal hair and smelly brown stuff. Addition of obstructing rope was equally ineffective next night. Saturday, tarp placed completely around stern. That worked once, then last night a large seal was accosted crushing tarp on bottom step. Placement of fender on step under tarp kept them at bay rest of night, but anticipate ancillary efforts will be required to keep ahead of the persistent bas.. umm, rascals. Wouldn't be so bad if they just lay there shedding and covering steps with crap, but they come on deck preventing sleep with, apparently, terrible indigestion and nightmares, snorting, grunting and flopping around.

Today we get glad tidings of great joy on possible 2 day, 80 NM return excursion to clean hull. Since having adulterated (no Cal, cuckoldry not involved) the water here for 5 days, unless Capitan de Puerto is feeling particularly churlish, speculate we can stay as is. Remain tuned to this channel for further developments.

Jack

Happy Keister
04/20/2014, Islas Galapagos

Saturday 19 April 2014

Not worth detailing, but moving from Mexico to San Cristobal, located more easterly, time is an hour earlier, resulting in sunrise occurring early, excessively early. Not really sure when, due being unconscious then, but premature awakening, precipitated by today's activity, was accomplished in full daylight. This is just wrong.

Semi-responsive, but eventually undeterred we got away late to discover Saturday market too far distant for time left, so had quick brekkie, returned to boat for laundry (found lavanderia open) and actually showed up on time for "highlands" tour. Walked around caldera lake on 600 meter tall volcano, visited Galapagos tortoise breeding center (these guys are big, so making little torti must be quite the show) and then to the shore for marine iguanas (seriously ugly - Jan loves them) and snorkeling with sea lions, turtles (big) and YLJ fish (Yellow Lipped Jobbies).

Ate late lunch, picked up laundry and returned to boat where, after a single dose of malaria/scurvy medicine and shower, fell asleep for the duration. Seven day passage and hiking finally took its toll.

Sunday

Since starboard electric winch would be handy for million square foot Genoa (minor hyperbole), bottom of companionway dust grate support has collapsed, a few areas have leaks and some other bits and pieces need attention, decided to spend morning with all-time favorite, boat work. Just as well given that infrequent rain picked today. Would look for colored eggs, but suspect onboard bunny, the impenitent slacker, didn't hide any. Or perhaps we'll just lay about in torpid contemplation.

Jack

Milking the Possibilities
04/18/2014, Islas Galapagos

Friday 18 April 2014

After desayuno at Miconia Restaurant, trekked with friends from S/V Evenstar (B.J., Kathy and progeny Will & Danielle, precocious at 16 & 13 respectively) to Park Interpretive Center for a dollop of Galapagos history and around the nature walk past Las Tijeretas and Playa Punta Carola for sealions (duh!), lizards, marine iguanas, really large brown pelicans, blue-footed boobies and what flora survives the less than hospitable soil (it's volcanic you know). Highlight was indulgence in milkshakes at a lovely little cafe on the walk back.. is that sad or what?

Returned to boat for second peak of excitement for the day. Jan separated recyclables and other crew epoxied floor grate that had collapsed. We're easily amused.

Tomorrow is highly recommended "highlands tour" to include tiptoeing through a volcano (moribund) and snorkeling with iguanas, seals, turtles and various other aquatic denizens (so we have been told). Scheduled start is 0900, but we go in early because: fresh market may end before we return and clean skivvy supply has decreased to concerning levels. Hoping lavanderia, closed today and Sunday for sure, is open Easter Saturday.

Jack

Base Base
04/17/2014, Islas Galapagos

Thursday 17 April 2014

When finally graced by the official host, very polite all, cockpit was chockers with jack-booted multitude. Animated Spanish conversation and pointed questions from translator elevated angst for potential imminent expulsion, but, as the fellow who fell from a tall building thought to himself passing 25th floor, "so far so good!". We were allowed ashore for sustenance and requisite, previously alluded to, medicinal ministrations. However, snorkeler due 0900, may impose grievous recompense for befouling pristine World Heritage Site environment. Despite highly toxic anti-fouling treatment in Grenada, thorough cleaning of bottom was prohibitively prolonged after using a tankful of air at La Cruz Huanacoxle (additional juvenile cackle)and bulk of speed-robbing encrustation was removed, but with some soft growth remaining and heavy barnacles on bottom of keel.

Although wifi is reputed to be available by virtue of free, but highly censored government network, this has been another wicked deception, perpetrated, no doubt, by the forces of evil that pervade all human activity and have invade our brains to... Ouch... Jan just slapped me, so I'm OK now.

After bottom inspection, must deliver ourselves ashore to present at immigration as able 1000. Assuming no finding of moral turpitude (records have been sequestered) expect to be allowed to stay for maximum 20 days without official autografo.

- Later

Just got word that bottom of keel sufficiently encrusted with barnacles it may be necessary to remove boat 40 NM offshore to chisel them off, then get reinspected. Awaiting Port Captain decision. Of course, tomorrow is a holiday and then the weekend. Guess the critters know not to spawn until later next week.

Satisfaction with Sea Hawk ablative including TBT (stuff that's banned due toxicity for private yachts (but not the Navy) in US, New Zealand and Australia) at lowest ebb. Further info as story develops.

Jack

Sealed With a Kiss
04/16/2014, Islas Galapagos

Wednesday 16 April 2014

GRIB (Ghastly Reminder of Idiotic Buffoonery) was wrong. Disgruntlement remains at bay because, except for six hours overnight of no wind, had beautiful sailing to destination; 40 to 60 degrees off the apparent wind with 10 to 14 averaging 6 knots. Good thing it's not always like this or every Thomas, Richard and Harold would be out here playing loud hip-hop and dragging down on us.

Repeated calls to Capitan de Puerto on approach at 1345 were futile, but our agent's agent came round before the anchor was set to say inspection was a mere 45 minutes hence. This was a cruel hoax, but his heart was probably in the right place and, having dealt with multitudinous, disparate, entry officials over the years, we've learned to be pretty mellow about delays. Primary concern is burden of finding, before adverse symptoms eventuate (huh?), nearest happy hour ashore to catch up on scurvy/malaria medication. It's a health issue.

Only passage of time will determine if blockade of reverse transom steps has been effective in thwarting kind attentions of the noble sea lion.. the noisy, fat, stinky, cantankerous, noble sea lion. They're darn cute in those National Geographic films, but you just don't want one loitering on your home, falling in love with a fender or using the dink as an air bed. Think fish poo.

Jack

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