Galloping to the Galapagos
15 July 2008 | 3 35'S:88 16'W, SE Pacific...210 NM to go until Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos, Ecuador
Well we are happily sailing with the spinnaker on our downwind trek to Santa Cruz. Over the last five days, the wind has finally cooperated, come from SSE and is pushing us gently towards our stop over in Galapagos. On this entire trip, we have only used the main sail 4 times, only for brief periods. I expect that things will be quite different north of the equator on our way up to San Diego where historically the winds and the currents will conspire against us.
We finally decided to fish and not 10 minutes after putting out our hand line with a green squiggly lure on it, we had a smallish dorado (mahi-mahi) on the hook. They are such incredibly beautiful fish?an incredible bluish yellow iridescent green. His youth was apparent and we felt a sense of relief when he was off the hook. I have always had trouble wanting to kill such a beautiful creature despite the delicious taste they provide. Now, a tuna, well, I think I can get over it in my quest for some fresh toro. Dale had brought several cans of wasabi powder from home in anticipation of some fresh sushi along the way. It would be a shame not to use it.
We have been exchanging many emails with our friends at Alwoplast, the builders of ES, who have been our supporters, our tech support and our companions on this trip. One of their recent communications was to tell us that they are having a plate of Monica's sushi in our name. The things friends do for friends!
The cooking continues to be in the forefront of our afternoon conversation as a result of Dale?s legendary cooking. We?ve had homemade french bread and vegetable-lentil soup, pasta with tomato sauce, fresh cornbread, pan-grilled fish tacos in a quesadilla style, home made pizza, various risottos, and so on and so forth. As we get further from our last stop, the fresh salads have morphed into crudite as the harder veggies keep longer. Alan and I continue to be very nice to Dale as she?s the only one who knows how to make fresh bread.
We are all looking forward to our arrival in Galapagos. The new wind indicator is now in the hands of our agent, Johnny Romero who will help us arrange for any other parts or repairs we need.?There is an anchorage there with water taxis available to take us to shore for $.50 a ride. Customs and immigration is close to the harbor and should be a simple task there. Certain ports are well known for a relaxed governmental attitude making the paperwork cha-cha slow down to a waltz tempo.
Typically the talk has begun as to what everyone wants to have on the first trip ashore-cappucino, ice cream, fresh salad, rib steak, etc.?It seems that we will arrive either very late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning, depending on the wind gods. But at least we know that no mater what happens with the wind, according to our latest calculations, we have enough fuel to motor all the way there.
Early this morning, just after sunrise, Dale who was on watch, saw an open motor boat about 18-20 ft bobbing just off our port bow with the outboard engine lifted up out of the water. The three men in it began waving their arms when we approached. They were a long way from anywhere - at least 300 nm from any land. Dale called me to get up in case we needed to help them. Of course, when flying the spinnaker, it would have to be doused to turn in their direction. While I looked through the binoculars to check them out, I noticed a black flag off the starboard bow. It occurred to us that they could be waving us AWAY from them. We maneuvered to the right of the flag instead of between the vessel and the flag. Well, they stopped waving, put their engine down and motored off like it was a normal thing to be way out here in that itty bitty boat. They were clearly out there fishing by stringing a line between thier boat band the black flag. We checked the radar thinking that perhaps they belonged to a larger vessel, sort of a "mother ship" in the area. No boat showed up on the radar within 36 nm of us and neither did their little boat. Glad Dale spotted them.
Next edition from the Galapagos, 60 miles south of the equator.
Crew of Espiritu Santi?. Ness, Dale, and Alan
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