Helicopters and swimming in the Pacific
20 February 2009 | Under way
A large fishing boat, with outriggers and a helicopter, crossed our bows this afternoon. On many occasions, these boats are trailing nets behind them, ones that are not friendly toward sailboats. We cut our engines, sails have been useless for the past 24 hours...no wind at all, and Tommy hailed the working boat over our VHF radio. No answer. I tried in Spanish, my infantile vocabulary worked. They had "nada in la mare", nothing in the sea. It's laughable, I speak like a 3-year-old, but with lots of manners, por favor and muchas muchas gracias. Minutes later, they launched their helicopter and did a really low level fly-by Zen. Lots of waving and smiling, then, they were gone, chasing the fish. We had seen some kind of large billed fish only 30 minutes prior, bet that's the game they're after. Only other big news, we swam in the big blue ocean today (see pic above). It was flat calm and too enticing. Everyone jumped in, Don grabbed the waterproof camera, and shot a bunch of cool shots of Zen in the middle of the Pacific. We'll post them to the photo section of the blog when we have a high speed connection. It's great having another cruiser onboard, especially one that's such a good friend. We were all laughing the other day, "Wouldn't it be funny if we just took off from the Galapagos bound for the Marquesas while Don was sleeping?" Don quickly replied, "You kidding? I'd love it!" That was the start. It's nice to hear Don's having such a good time w/the Burgess clan and would want to continue onward. He's trying to do some juggling to get his land responsibilities neatly tied up. A 3 week visit may turn into a 3 month visit. He's like family, so we are more than happy to add him to our adventure. We've passed the halfway mark with only 396 miles to go. There's a bunch of other cruising boats near us. One has already arrived, one will arrive tomorrow and a bunch of us will pull into Academy Bay, Santa Cruz in a couple of days. Everyone hangs in the Galapagos for about a week to 10 days doing tours and topping off on provisions and fuel before leaving again for French Polynesia. Some folks sail on to the Marquises and others to the Tuomotus or Tahiti. In any case the next leg is a long one. The next closest islands are 3000 miles away. The Galapagos trip is a warm up for the next leg. We are already starting to plan for our sail to the Marquises but everyone is very excited about visiting the Galapagos. That's all for tonight.