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Namani at Sea
The travels of Nana, Markus and Nick aboard Namani
Sunday evening update from Cristobal
18-Mar-2012, Anchored off Cristobal, Galapagos

Another two very nice days here in Cristobal. Victoria, another German boat with Kai, Heike and their sons Johannes and Niklas aboard, arrived on Friday. Nana and Heike had met upon checking out of Panama City/Balboa and were looking forward to getting the kids together once in the Galapagos. We had heard them on Panpacific SSB net earlier this week when they were about 500 nm away from Cristobal. Yesterday afternoon they came dinghying over to Namani and we chatted away a few hours in no time while the three boys were investigating Nicky’s Lego collection down below.

Today had us do a few repair jobs in the morning (so the epoxy no longer feels neglected in its storage space beneath the forepeak bunk. In the afternoon we planned to walk out to La Loberia, a nice beach on the SW end of Cristobal, with lots of sea lions, and nice snorkeling right among them (very cold water though, by our "Warmduscher" standards...). Luckily we met Matthieu, Lea and their parents on shore, a French family whom we had briefly met in Shelter Bay before our Canal Transit. With ages 8 (Nicky), 6 1/2 (Matthieu) and 5 (Lea) and a not a common language between them, it was beautiful to see how much fun they had playing together (greatly helped by Matthieu's contageous enthusiasm). We ended up doing the 40 min walk together and enjoyed our time on the beach.

Nicky and Mami will leave for St. Cruz early tomorrow (Monday) morning to join a 4-day tour of the central islands. Papi will watch Namani and then join them on Thursday. Stay tuned...

09 - Pacific Crossing
New photo album and new report by Nicky

Finally (we heard you, Dave ;-), some new photos from the Panama - Galapagos passage. As the Sailblogs photo manager is pretty clumsy we will post the photos on Picasa from now on (the old ones will stay in the Sailblogs Gallery, see link to the right). Click here for the new album.

Nicky has also posted a new school report about life on a sailboat in the open ocean. It can be found here.

09 - Pacific Crossing
Swimming with the sharks...
16-Mar-2012, Anchored off Cristobal, Galapagos

We had two very nice days here yesterday and today, finally exploring a bit of the plant and wild life that the Galapagos are famous for. After some school and boat work in the morning we went up to Cristobal's Interpretative Center yesterday afternoon. The center has a good exihibit on the history of the Galapagos Islands, with a focus on the development over the last ~300 years. One striking exhibit was about how little of all the money spent on high-end tourism in the Galapagos actually stays in the islands (we'll get a photo one of these days). Little mention though of the tremendous population growth (influx from mainland Ecuador) over the past 30 years...

From the Center a short walk took us up to an observation point with a great view of Frigate Birds spiraling up some thermos in a in one of Cristobals bays. Down from there we had a short dip with mask and snorkel in that very bay, with an obligatory visit from some sea lions.

Back in town we decided to book a snorkel tour on one of the local dive boats for today. This turned out to be a real high light. At "Kicker Rock", one of the stops about 1/2 a mile off Cristobal, we got to see Pacific Sea Green Turtles, Sea Lions and Galapagos Sharks, all happily hanging out together in a crack/channel between to sections of the rock. Apparently light and current in there makes this a favorite hang-out spot for these creatures (or they just come to have a look at those snorkeling humans...). It was amazing to float in there right in the middle of a group of 7 or 8 turtles, going past sea lions and having sharks swim back and forth underneath. Nana even had a face-to-face encounter with a sea lion who looked at her about a foot away from her mask to check her out. We were probably lucky that our underwater camera had stopped working earlier today, so we could simply enjoy floating among these creatures without being distracted by picture taking.

Much more to explore over the coming days. Tomorrow however Nicky has an appointment however, to play soccer with the son of the Navy officer who checked us into the Galapagos...

09 - Pacific Crossing

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