Great news...bad news...
22 July 2008 | Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
July 22, 2008
S 00o 44.8
W 090o 18.5
Sorry for being so slack...
We actually arrived in the Galapagos on the 17th.
Well the Great news...bad news....
Alan had some urgent family matters to attend to and had to leave us here, but the GREAT news was that Joanne agreed to put her hectic schedule aside and fly out to Quito, Ecuador, and then on to the Galapagos to join us as the 3rd crew to San Diego, California.....about 15 days.
Many thanks to Santi for approving this change!
Today we are preparing to leave about 1200. The refrigeration repair tech is returning this morning and then we have the paperwork cha cha after that. Galapagos paperwork is a walk in the park compared to Coquimbo. The missing wind indicator has been installed on the top of the mast by yours truly, the electronics are back online and functioning properly, fuel is filled and the food will stay cold.
Our next planned port of call is Banderas Bay, Mexico. This has been a busy storm season so far and we have a decent weather window to "hop across" to the mainland just north of Puerta Vallarta. Banderas Bay is known for being a safe harbor against major storms and it is a good place to refuel and check for the next opportunity to press north to San Diego. Hurricaine Fausto is located near 20.4 N/116.8 W but will certainly have moved out of the way before we reach Puerta Vallarta area. Tropical Storm Genevieve is currently at 14.9 N/102.6 W and is moving west. This also is no threat to us. We will be heading on a rhumb line (direct route) to the harbor there unless the weather picture changes dramatically.
We have Alwoplast who are monitoring the buoy weather along our whole trip. Who said it is lonely out here? We feel so very supported and have up to date reliable weather information every day.
Galapagos has been a good place to regroup and prepare. Our agent here has helped us with all of our projects. There was some chafing on the anchor rode from the inside of the windlass so this morning he is delivering some more rode for us. We can splice it on as we get on our way. Alan is on his way home and Joanne has settled in as Swabby Junior. We had an official ceremony as Alan passed along his sailing gloves to her. A viewing of Capatin Ron is imminent to assure her understanding of how things work aboard ES.
The Darwin Center whose main function is research and breeding of endangered indigenous animals is just a 15-minute walk up the main street of town. (appropriately named Charles Darwin Ave) It is truly amazing to be able to be so close to these wonderful creatures.
The fish market in town is a small lagoon where the pangas come in with their fresh catch. The fisherman clean and sort their fish under a roof on tables with running water. The fish is amazing and their audience, pelicans, herons, and sea lions are most entertaining. We bought a yellow fin tuna that weighed 16 lbs without the head and tail for 26 dollars. Not too shabby for beautiful toro and maguro. They had wahoo, grouper and snapper as well.
On Sunday, not much gets done around here so Alan, Dale, and I took a tour to Isla Seymour just to the north of Santa Cruz Island. (This was the same tour that Joanne took while she was waiting for us to arrive here in the Galapagos.) It was a 45 minute bus ride and then 1 hour on a motor boat to the island. It is a national park that is very well protected. We hiked with our guide and a group of 15 people and enjoyed seeing nesting Blue Footed Boobies, several species of Frigates and their offspring of varying ages, land iguanas, Galapagos sharks, and many other types of birds. They are so protected that they are not afraid of humans and have no reaction to us coming by busily snapping pictures. Upon returning to the boat after several hours we were treated to a wonderful lunch of fresh fish and vegetables with rice as we motored our way across the channel to a pristine beach where we snorkeled and beach comber for 1 1/2 hours. After that, we returned to land and tried to stay awake on the bus ride back. It was a most amazing day and quite a treat from the work schedule.
So, friends we head off today for our next adventure on our way to San Diego. Santi and Carolina are very excited to have us closer and closer to their home. I am more excited about getting closer and closer to being home!