Blog 17. Galapagos. 00.53.74S 89.36.75W

David Batten
Mon 22 Feb 2016 12:49
Monday, 15/02/16. A lovely night after 2.00am when we were able to turn the motor off and sail with full Main, Genoa and Staysail, with some beautiful nocturnal gulls for company, the moon and a sky full of stars. Then a day of fantastic sailing across a sea of perfect blue and long swells, with only gulls and petrols for company and such peace and tranquility. The wind gradually died as we knew it would and by midnight, we were motor sailing again. Happy with winning one leg, we are keen to just get to the Galapagos as quickly as possible and never mind the penalty for using the engine, plus the Nav lights on the bow seemed to attract the gorgeous nocturnal gulls that fished so gracefully around the boat. Pure white in the lights, they came and went like phantoms, totally silent except for what we assume were little radar clicks as they circled and dropped onto the water beside the boat.

Tuesday, 16/02/16. 09.00am and we crossed the equator. Celebrated with Buck's Fizz, which went down really well and is truly excellent when made with freshly squeezed oranges and consumed on a small boat in a large ocean on a beautiful morning. With very little wind all day, we motor sailed with only the temporary company of some large fishing vessels, one with a helicopter on board, that were just on the edge of the waters that form part of the Galapagos National Park. We were offered a lovely looking tuna by one of the tenders, but as tuna was on the long of things you are not permitted to bring into the Galapagos, we had to regretfully decline it. Land was sighted at 14.40, by which time we were just motoring in less than 5 knots of wind, but we had a wonderful time as we went down the coast of San Cristobal, with a great view of Kicker's Rock and the first (of hundreds) of seals, Boobies, Frigates, Petrals and other sea birds, plus countless Rays, some of which were jumping out several feet of the sea, twisting and then slamming back into the sea with a huge splash. We eventually motored into Puerto Baquerizo in the dark, a bit of a navigational nightmare as the Garmin chart was way out, the buoys were not as marked on the paper charts and we ended up using the iSailor chart on the iPad. The reef was breaking noisily on the port side as we felt our way towards the boats at anchor in the harbour. Once in the harbour, we could make out Spirit and Paradise Found who we knew were already there, so we anchored close to them and had a very strong anchor nip to restore our nerves.

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