S/V Adventure

Follow the O'Neil family, sailing in their Catalina 42, on their 2-year sabbatical to see the Pacific coast of the US, Mexico, and Central America, Galapagos, the South Pacific, and New Zealand.

08 June 2012 | Home
05 June 2012 | 100 miles to the Farallons!
02 June 2012 | 475 miles off the coast
31 May 2012 | 579 miles to go
30 May 2012 | 694 miles to go
30 May 2012 | 800 miles to go
29 May 2012 | 915 miles off California
28 May 2012 | Past halfway between Hawaii and SF
27 May 2012 | Past halfway between Hawaii and SF
26 May 2012 | Halfway between Hawaii and SF
24 May 2012 | Middle of the Pacific Ocean
23 May 2012 | Middle of the Pacific Ocean
22 May 2012 | Middle of the Pacific Ocean
21 May 2012 | Middle of the Pacific Ocean
20 May 2012 | Pacific Gyre
16 May 2012 | Pacific Gyre
16 May 2012 | Pacific
18 September 2011 | Home
07 September 2011 | Crossing the southern tip of the big island
05 September 2011 | Pacific

Galapagos Highlands Tour

03 May 2008
My mom woke me up at eight. Tara and I took showers and then we all went to shore. We waited for our tour guide, Dario, and our agent, Javier. Our tour guide came first. "Are you the O'Neil family?" He asked in an accent. "Yes." My dad answered. He quickly said that he was our tour guide to the Highlands and that he had no idea where Javier was.

Javier appeared a few minutes later. He whistled down a taxi for us (something we could have easily done). We all crammed in the Taxi. It was pretty tight, first of all, because the taxis here are trucks, and second of all, there were five of us. My mom sat in the passenger seat, while Dario and I were on the ends and Tara and my dad were squished in the middle. Dario and I both rolled down our windows. Half our bodys were out the window trying to give people more shoulder room. It was an uncomfortable ride, but Tara and I were used to it - dad's always trying to save a buck.

We arrived at the Highlands after a half an hour of being in the squished truck. We got out of the car, and followed Dario to a boot closet. Tara, my dad, and I brought Tennies and socks; my mom brought sandals. He said that we would be better off with boots because it was a muddy trail. My mom said because she didn't bring any socks and she would just wear her sandals. She later agreed to wear the boots like us; Dario said there were ants that bite. Dario went barefoot because he was used to the ants.

We started on the muddy trail and saw our first Tortoise. He was very large and laying in a pool of water. After taking lots of pictures we moved on. Many of the trails were forked; I wondered if we were going to get lost. We came up to a passion fruit tree. Dario got a long stick that looked like a wishbone, and hit the fruit that looked most yellow.

It fell down; he picked it up and tried to open it with his hands. No success. He handed it to my mom, to see if she could open it. She dug her fingernails into the fruit and ripped part of it off and handed it to my dad. "Wow, Miss!" Dario said in amazement. Two more peices were ripped off and handed to Tara and me. I looked at what was in my hand; it looked like frogs eggs. The seeds were a brownish color and they were covered in a orange goop. My dad tried a little and then said, "Mmmm." I am sure he didn't like it that much though. My mom tried it and said, "That's sour!" Dario looked like he was in heaven. "Mmmmmmm..." was all Dario said. I personally didn't like the passion fruit, because of its sour taste.

We moved on and came across a Guava tree. I liked Guava. It had a pink inside and little seeds. It tasted sweet and a little sour.

We walked a little further and Dario had a worried but kidding expression on his face. "Where I am? Where I am?" He yelled in his thick accent. We all exchanged glances as Dario smiled and searched for some sort of sign of the trail.

Then we heard a rustling in a bush. We looked and there was a giant Tortoise walking slowly over a tree trunk. We were all amazed. We watched in awe for a while.

We found the trail after a while, and watched one more Tortoise climb out of a pool of water with some grass on his face. Dario took some pictures of us behind We came and took off our boots, then my mom noticed something on my pants. I had a big mud smear on my upper leg. I went into the bathroom while my mom washed my pants. she gave them back to me, wet and I put them on. Unfortunately they were white so, Yes, the were see through. But at least I had a long shirt on. I came up to the area where everyone was. They were looking at two giant turtle shells. Dario said we could climb in them. We had to back into the shells though. We climbed in them and then took some more pictures. When we got out, because my pants were wet, They got brown polish on them from inside the tortoise shell. Oh well.

We got in the Taxi, again, and went to the Lava Tube. It was a short drive from the highlands.

The car stopped and we got out. We walked down some steps to see a giant cave looking thing. The openeing must have been as big as a two story house. Dario said it was caused by lava running so slow, that the top crusted over and when the lava stopped flowing it left a big cave. We went inside. Water was dripping from the ceiling, and the floor was all muddy. We walked through, some more and then turned back. When we got out we had mud splattered on the back of our pants. I guess mine were never meant to be clean. We left and went back to the town, Puerto Ayora.

At Puerto Ayora, Dario took us to his favorite place to eat. We ordered and talked a little bit about who's portrait was on their money, and how the cars here could only be here for five years, so they wouldn't pollute the air. And also how the sea iguanas were at the very beginning of the movie Godzilla. Godzilla is really a sea iguana. Then we went back to our boat to get ready for our next tour.
Vessel Name: Adventure
Vessel Make/Model: Catalina 42
Hailing Port: Marina Bay, Richmond CA
Crew: The O'Neil Family
About: Sean (Captain and Line Man) Kathy (Helmswoman and Cook) Tara - 12 years old at trip start, Casey - 11 years old at trip start (Crew and Students)
Extra: We're on a three-year sabbatical from the daily grind to see the Pacific coast of the US, Mexico, Central America and the South Pacific and stopping at New Zealand.

S/V Adventure

Who: The O'Neil Family
Port: Marina Bay, Richmond CA