24 February 2013 | Galapagos Islands
We have arrived in the beautiful Galapagos Islands! Our anchorage in Academy Bay is a joy after 9 months tied to the dock. We've put out a stern anchor to keep us pointed into the large swell rolling through the bay. We slept like babes last night!
Upon arrival we were greeted by one of Darwin's Finches. It landed on Lens shoulder - obviously a good omen! In the 24 hours that we have been here we have seen two marine iguanas swim by the boat, dolphins, turtles, manta rays, sharks and we went straight to see the giant tortoises today at the research center.
Passage over from Salinas was decent. The first night out (at 4am of course) we ran over a fish net. Here's the story: (short version) no traffic on the horizon all night until about 3:30am where I spotted a faint blip on the radar. Knowing that the fishermen run from the mainland to Galapagos we kept a close watch. Their boats can be very small and without light. Several more faint blips started to appear and then we spotted several strobe lights. All good - they were 3.5 miles to our starboard but we continued to check port vigorously as unmarked fishing lines are a pain in the you know what! Suddenly Len spots a string of floating white buoys at our bow and quickly throttles back and into neutral. Keep in mind that the moon had set, it was pitch black and we were about 150 miles off shore. We then flipped the mizzen spreader and underwater lights to check the situation - we were surrounded in a 500 ft circle of floating white buoys. (this sucks) I looked over the side to check the rudder and the net seemed to hang down 20 ft deep into the water! Now... There is a decent swell and a 2 knot current so the boat is tossing a little - Len heads into the water to cut the net. It took a good 45 minutes to get her free because when we cut the first bit the 2nd half of the circle came around and Len had to do the process again! To say the least it wasn't what we had in mind for our first night out!
Speaking of the current...wow..we blasted over here at over 9 knots. We had to slow the boat down to enter port at daybreak. We were barely over idle and kept hitting 8 knots!
Anyway...we are excited to be here. Somebody pinch me -