Leaving the Galapagos
04/15/2009, the Galapagos, Isla Santa Cruz
We are just leaving the Galapagos... and will be traveling 3000 nautical miles to French Marquesas... We'll blog and give daily position reports, but no more photos until we get internet again...
It has been a good few weeks here.. so much to see and do. As we leave, we will be sailing within 20-30 miles of the volcano that just errupted, so hope to get a photo :)
Check the Galapagos Photo Album for new photos!
Also, check the "Current Position" Map and link for updates as to our position as we cross!
jeff and kirsty
Shadows and Whisps of the deep
04/13/2009, Galapagos, Isla Santa Cruz
Can you see it :)
Diving with Hammerhead sharks!
04/13/2009, the Galapagos, Isla Santa Cruz
Placeholder for the blog I will write from the boat.
Just uploading the image.
Flying Yellowfin Tuna
Just to prove that Yellowfin Tuna really can fly!
Another Bloody Fish Story… Jeff Takes the Boat Record
KB, Hot & Sunny
04/11/2009, Somewhere between Isla Isabela and Santa Cruz, Galapagos
Our week in Isla Isabela flew by. It's a nice little town, very kicked back and relaxed with sandy streets and a palm tree lined beach. Very quiet after San Cristobal with only a few boats anchored out at any one time. There is a great little bar - Sea Lion - at the end of the pier where we watched the world go by a couple of afternoons.
We cast off for Santa Cruz bright and early just after sunrise around 6.30am. It's a 40 mile sail, we had no idea how long its going to take, but given the general wind conditions, or lack of wind around the Galapagos we expect its going to be an all day effort. We rounded out of the harbor and had around 6-8 knots of breeze, much more than we expected, of course it was coming directly from Santa Cruz, but we've grown to expect that the wind will be coming from wherever we want to go so no surprises there. We hoisted the sails and set in for a beat, looks like its going to be a long day, lucky for us it's a beautiful sunny day and its been a few weeks since we have sailed.
Out come the fishing poles, standard practice and we are confident that we are going to catch a fish this time around. We lost a couple on the sail over from San Cristobal and we have been speaking to another cruiser who caught two big tuna the day before coming from Santa Cruz so we know they are out there. A couple of hours into the trip we see a huge flock of birds dive bombing into the ocean and we can see the water surface boiling with a school of little fish... it's a sure sign that something big is rounding them up and the absolute best time for a strike. Next minute we hear the ZING, something's on the line and its gone for the lure hard and is running. Jeff picks up the challenge and for the next 30 mintues (ok there is a minor dispute on the boat if it was actually that long but for the colour of the story I'll go with it) he struggles to get the fish back to boat. Its damn heavy and fighting hard so we know it's a big one... oh bugger, looks like my boat record if finally going to fall! We see a flash of blue and silver so we know its not a dorado, we suspect its probably a tuna, they run in huge schools all around the Island. We finally mange to get it on board and sure enough it's a yellow fin tuna, 43 inches and no idea how heavy... it topped out our little fish scale at 25 pounds so we know it was more than that. Jeff is now the proud owner of the biggest fish caught on Nemesis. The next couple of hours are spent cleaning and preparing the fish - it a huge task - this is one big fish.
Once we are all done, we settle back into cruising mode, at this point we have gone nearly 30 miles over ground and are still more than 30 miles from the anchorage on a 40 mile trip... beat sailing is so much fun. During the course of the afternoon we are treated to another wildlife display. Schools of yellow fin tuna literally jumping out of the water chasing fish and competing with blue footed boobies for the prize. Its almost as if they were using the boat to herd the fish and are scooping up dinner in our wake. Fish everywhere and we didn't even throw the line out because we had already caught more than we could eat, we were just content to watch it all unfold around us.
We arrived into Santa Cruz at 10.30pm that night after motoring for the final 10 + miles. We covered 67 miles on a 40 mile trip and it took 16 hours - smokingly fast.
KB, Hot & Sunny
04/06/2009, Isla Isabela, Galapagos
Today we headed off to check out the Volcan Sierra Negra on Isabela. It's the second largest volcanic crater in the world and it last erupted in 2005... lucky it was all quiet while we were up there. George from Venture had kindly organized the trip. We were horse riding up to the top of the volcano, but in typical Ecuadorian fashion the tour company at Hotel San Vicente hadn't organized the horses, so we were hoofing up under our own power, which was fine with us, its what we wanted to do the first place.
After making our own sangers at the hotel before leaving, 11 of us all piled into a style of chicken bus, an open air carriage with 3 bench seats sitting on the bed of up pick up truck. It was a rough ride up the volcano but a great way to see some more of the inland scenery. When we got to the point where the hike started we were lucky enough to see a Galapagos Hawk posing for us in the middle of the track. The four of us horseless boaties started off on our hike, the rest of the group were waiting for their horses (I guess the hotel didn't forget everyone... or maybe they did). It was a 16km round trip and our guide set a fair pace, better to get the climb up out of the way when it was still cool. Our first glimpse of the Volcano was spectacular, a huge hole in the ground, half glowing green, the other half covered in lava fields with nothing growing, the area that had taken the brunt of the eruption in 05. I guess it takes a while to regenerate!
We walked along the rim for about 30 minutes and then ventured off to Volcan Chico (Little Volcano), which last erupted in 79. We walked across the lava fields of the eruption to get to the crater of Volcan Chico, it's a stark and brutal environment, nothing lives up there except for a few very hardy cactus and some ferns hiding in the shade of the crater of the volcano. No animals anywhere to be seen, must be that weird sulfur smell keeping them away. The view from the top was amazing, you could see the whole of Isabela and some of the surrounding islands from up there... All the Galapagos Islands lay on a hot spot and are formed by volcanic eruptions. Isabela has 8 volcanos on its land mass alone. The giant tortoises make their homes on and around the volancos but we have yet to see one in the wild, I think you would almost have to fall over it, they are very well camouflaged and don't move much.
We were just heading back to the shade of a huge tree for a break before heading back down the mountain when the rest of our group arrived... it seems that the horses were on strike that day, theirs hadn't turned up either!