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The Jackson Four on Tour
Operation 'sell Pegasus of Jersey' begins""
Goodbye Galapagos
Catherine
07/06/2011

6 July 2011
We knew Whit would come back - he had to to collect his extensive library of Lonely Planet travel guides he left behind whilst travelling through Costa Rica. Monday and all of Tuesday consisted of getting the boat ship-shape again for going to sea. We feel we have finally made it as an ocean going vessel, now we have a huge bunch of green bananas hanging up in the cockpit. Despite the fact that we we won't be able to eat them for two weeks and then they will all ripen at the same time, we still wanted to buy them as they were pretty cheap, as were most of the other fruit and veg we bought at the farmers market in Santa Cruz. Cheap compared to Jersey, obviously, maybe not to other countries. So, we have a boat load of fruit and veg, most of our dry provisions were already on and a very kind restaurant froze 6 of our meals for us that I had prepared earlier (eat your heart out Blue Peter!) Although we don't have a freezer, we have a freezer box that Mark has made and so hopefully they should keep cool for a little while. And so we set sail at 1800 on 5 July. Other boats had had problems retrieving one or other of their anchors, so we were prepared for the worst, but were pleased that neither anchor gave us jip and we were heading out before the sun had set. A knackering day by all accounts as all our water had to be put into tanks by jerry can and with no prop on our outboard motor, we had to befriend a water taxi for most of the afternoon.
So now it's the morning of the 6th; the big boys are snoozing, I've been on the SSB net and made contact with other boats and the kids are reading, we've got a couple of knots of current in our favour and whilst the waves are slightly forward of our beam, we've 15-20 knots of wind so are making a respectable 6-7 knots boat speed. Current position: 01.19.62S 91.48.68W

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Hello again!
Catherine
07/03/2011, Santa Cruz, Galapagos

You've all been spared of a blog for ...ohhhh....4 days - lucky you! The past few days have been a mishmash of recovering from the day trip (kids just wanted to stay on boat for next couple of days, chilling!) another trip to Charles Darwin Centre for kids to do some still life drawings of the tortoises (!) Mark doing bits and bobs on the boat (changing the wire from SSB ariel to radio for better reception, changing various filters on engines, collecting water in jerry cans, etc) I went to the local garage with my permission slip for the diesel man to charge me 4 times the going rate cos I is a gringo. Even the taxi driver thought the man was kidding as the cost dial indicated $57 and he proceeded to charge me over $200. However, obviously I took it as a man (because it is all part of the rich tapestry of sailing life - being charged 4 times the going rate) , but was glad I was a woman as the taxi driver filled all the jerry cans for me and loaded them onto the water taxi (who says chivalry is dead!) Why was a taking a water taxi, I hear you ask. Now, there lies a story. As I had loaded up the dinghy with all the empties, Mark and I realised that the reason the outboard wouldn't go into gear is that the prop had fallen off. One of the only things we don't have a spare of. I half heartedly snorkelled for a couple of minutes, not really expecting to see anything and being proved right. Then I spent half an hour picking my way between on the black volcanic coastal rocks to see if I could see the small bit of black plastic, but it turns out if it is there, it's as well camouflaged as the marine iguanas I was nearly standing on. Ho hum, lets see if a delivery makes it's way to the Marquesas!
Apart from all of that jazz, we've enjoyed the company of Goody and Yolo, two other yachts, one of who left today and the other who leaves tomorrow, so that really does mean that we are the last yacht in the Galapagos. So, we'll pick up Whit today, our groceries at the farmers' market on Tuesday and head off to the Marquesas as soon as possible after.

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07/05/2011 | Pete Burch
Allez les Jacksons! Hope that you have fair winds and good fishing for the next leg to the Marquesas...looking forward to the blogs from the Pacific
Isla Isabela
Catherine
06/29/2011, Isla Isabela, Galapagos

Mark's Uncle David said that we HAD to go to different islands when we were here as they were all so different in terms of flora and fauna. Unfortunately, the only way to visit the other islands is by small speedboat, so I shall blame Uncle David for the bone-breaking 5 hour round trip we had to endure in order to see one other island. However, Mia and Lochy surpassed themselves and showed that they have become true salty seadogs as, whilst they felt a bit queasy, they weren't the children that threw up on the ride and it really was the kind of ride where people threw up!
Once on Isla Isabela, I will give it to him, Uncle David was right about the different wildlife. We were excited to see Galapagos penguins, blue footed boobies, white tipped sharks, flamingos and a ray, none of which we have seen yet in Santa Cruz. We even went snorkelling with the sealions and were most grateful for the inherited pink wetsuit from Samba as the Humboldt current brings exciting wildlife in the form of penguins, but also a decidedly chilly sea. Some more giant tortoises were also on the agenda, and one of them even opened its mouth, which was exciting!!
We had planned to stay overnight with Gruffalo who were anchored at Isabella, but they were moved on by the navy just as we arrived, so we waved from shore and chatted on VHF to wish them well on their onwards passage to Marquesas. Maybe we will catch up with them there. Once safely back on dry land, Mark and I wondered which island we should go to next. For a second. Then we decided, there is plenty more to see on Santa Cruz, before we leave next week.

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boat activity, island activity, boat activity, island activity
Catherine
06/26/2011, Tortuga Bay, Santa Cruz, Galapagos


Even though we are loving all the trips here, we mustn't neglect Pegasus, especially as we have the longest leg of our journey ahead of us in a couple of weeks. So we have fallen into a pattern of doing something exciting one day, followed by boat maintenance the next. There's a lot to do. We are still catching up on the laundry. Luckily the agent has a machine we can use and a line to dry the clothes. Also, all the fuel and water has to be dinghied in 25 litre jerry cans to the boat, which is no mean feat, considering the surf we are still negotiating (whereby even the kids are not arguing about wearing lifejackets!) Actually, the list consists mostly of finding places to put all the stuff we dumped in Whit's room whilst he was gone as we did a big provision before we left Panama. On Friday, Mark and the kids went ashore for the kids to do their school work and Mark to skype his family and catch up on emails, like where to send our satellite phone that has not worked since the Atlantic. I stayed on the boat and spent the whole day swapping contents of cupboards around to make things easier to access and check sell by dates on the stuff we bought in Greece. Not too many surprises, though we will have to eat more of those TUC biscuits in the next month!
Yesterday we hiked the 2.5 kms to Tortuga beach which was absolutely beautiful. Take St Ouen's bay in Jersey and you are nearly there, though you have to add pelicans and marine iguanas. We dragged all the snorkel gear there, but then only the kids went in, so excited to be able to swim after a long long time. They didn't report any major wildlife under the water and we could see the iguanas swimming on the top of the water, so Mark and I rested in the shade of the mangroves whilst the kids played with Johannes from Goody, a South African boat next to us in the anchorage.
PS, we moved OK the other day from the spot the tourist boat sank, the only sign we were near a wreck was the bed sheets we pulled up on our anchor. As Mark said, if only we had pulled up an outboard engine, we could have claimed salvage!

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Saying hello to the wildlife of Galapagos
Catherine
06/23/2011, Santa Cruz, Galapagos

You know you're in Galapagos when a sea lion uses the back step of your boat as a bed, or you have to step over a marine iguana coming off the dinghy dock. There's so much wildlife around here, it's truly amazing and the kids are in heaven! After a day of just sorting ourselves out on Tuesday, we went the Charles Darwin Institute yesterday to meet the gentle giants. Mia and Lochy could get up close and personal with the tortoises, after whom the Galapagos islands are named. On the way to the centre, we passed the fish market, where pelicans, sea lions and iguanas hung out hoping for a tasty bite.
Today, we went up to the highlands of the island to some lava tunnels - over 1km of pitch black tunnels which were made by molten rock. A complete contrast to the wildlife of the coast, as there was no sign of life in the tunnels. When we got back, we realised that the agent had bee ntrying to contact us during the day as a tourist boat sunk 100m from our boat and the Navy wanted us to move. Not that we were in the way, but there was quite a bit of diesel spilled in the sea which is really sad, considering the wildlife. However, when we got back to the boat the navy had gone home for the day and there is a boom around the diesel right in front of our boat so we wouldn't have been able to bring up our anchor without disturbing the area where the ship has sunk. It was agreed that we would move the boat in first light, but I am wondering if the boat sunk on top of our anchor - time will tell. We are loving it here. It is much cooler than Panama, the people are really friendly and you don't have to walk 2 minutes to get a taste of wildlife.



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06/29/2011 | Keith Hanning
Hi Catherine, I have been following your journey and am deeply envious of you being in the Galapagos! It's been great to hear how you have been overcoming all the obstacles and also having fun, I think you are all doing fantastically well! When can we see pictures of King Neptune?
Surfing Santa Cruz
Catherine
06/21/2011, Santa Cruz, Galapagos

We're here! We arrived about an hour before sunset, telling Tuomo our agent that we were here. "Yeah, that's great. Just to let you know the swell is quite bad at the moment, so you may want to put out a stern anchor when you arrive." It's certainly not the calmest anchorage we have been in. We set about putting two anchorages down - the normal one at the front and then a stern one at the back (that doesn't mean he's angry - stern means back of boat, for all you land lubbers) This keeps us into the swell - or should I say surf? - whilst the wind is trying to push us sideways. If that doesn't sound nice, it's not. But here in Galapagos, the restrictions for yachts are such that we cannot anchor anywhere else so we're stuck here for the next two weeks. Lars from Yacht Luna came over to greet us and pick up his chartplotter that arrived by Pegasus Post (a much quicker and more reliable option than airmail via Equador!) and then warned us that their bridle on their anchor snapped and another yacht had been hit by one of the big boats whose anchor had dragged, so to be careful.
The next day, our bridle on our anchor snapped, so it has been replaced with mooring line sized ropes, with chafe guards. Mark stayed on the boat to check that the anchor was holding whilst the kids I and went to ashore to get the heads up from Tuomo about checking in and the touristy stuff. Once Mark felt happy, he ventured over to Luna to help Lars diagnose an electrical problem in the solar panels, which they did. Luna took us out for a meal to say thank you which was really really lovely and after the initial 'I can't talk to them, I don't speak Danish' the kids had a great time with Nana (12) Emil (9) and Jacob ( 7) running about in the streets whilst the parents compared notes. A lovely evening followed back by a trip in the water taxi (not brave enough yet to negotiate the swell in the tender yet!) and a leap of faith back onto Pegasus when the waves are right. Yikes!

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Jackson Four on Tour
Who: Mark, Catherine, Mia and Lachlan
Port: Lefkas, Greece
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