After a whistle-stop tour of San Cristobal, we had our
passports stamped, our national park passes, lunch, diesel (at a cost of $3 a
gallon delivered to the boat) and finally received our Zarpe (exit permit).
In the Galapagos, you need to clear out of each port and clear into the next
with the appropriate Zarpe.
Rob & Sheralee stayed in San Cristobal as they had
to Fedex some important documents to the States (well that’s what they told us,
personally I think they had a different agenda, if you know what I mean!!!!).
Now here’s an interesting fact about the Galapagos, just
because a shop has a Fedex or DHL sign outside, it does not mean that they
actually provide the service!!! It was just so on San Cristobal. So Rob & Sheralee had to get
the ferry across to Santa
Cruz the following day to visit Johnny Romero, who was
the Fedex agent there.
So with the crew safely ensconced in the relative luxury
of their hotel, we weighed anchor bound for Isla Isabela. It was a lovely
evening, good winds saw us clipping along at 7.3 knots.
We managed to sail for a couple of hours before the wind
swung round and we had to motor sail.
It was not an easy passage, as we had not expected we
would only be 2 watch keepers and had also spent all day on the island with
Bolivar. So neither of us had managed to get any sleep and we went straight into
3 hour watches.
The night slipped by peacefully, with no adverse weather,
so you can imagine our surprise, when we approached Puerto Vilamil and were hailed by Soggy Paws.
Had we had any squalls during the night? Had we seen
anything unusual? When we answered negative, they then told us there was a
Tsunami warning and we should stand off for a while as it was imminent.
They had their engines running, in case they need to make
a run for it. The tides in the bay had been acting very strangely, dropping 5ft
in minutes. Plus they were swinging in circles on their anchor.
We waited and after an hour we heard that it was settling
down and so we made our way into the anchorage.
Sherry and Sue (Mike & Sue on Infinity) were going
ashore, so I tagged along to get the lay of the land, while the boys came on
board and set to stripping the compressor to see what had happened and what, if
anything could be salvaged.
Well, the town was like a ghost town, totally deserted.
They had evacuated the entire population, including tourists and taken to the
It was also still recovering from the torrential rain
that had hit the island in the previous few days, so many of the roads were
We went to the hotel Albemarle, where we found Bebe. She
is the owner’'s teenage sister in law. When we asked why she hadn’t gone, she
simply said ‘I’m not going to die today!!!’. After a coke we set out to see if
there was any internet, as people were starting to come back into town, in dribs
We managed to get online and find out what was going on
in the world and also send a quick e-mail to let people know we were
What a welcome to Isla Isabela!!!!
In the meantime Roger, Dave and Mike had managed to find
out what had happened to the compressor, the con rod had broken and the
compressor was a right off.
But worse than that, there was a lot of metallic debris
in the system that would need flushing out.
So it means a trip to Santa Cruz for a couple of days to get the
system stripped out. Then another trip to hopefully get it all put back in!!!!
Joe at Polar Bear in Ft Lauderdale, was going to ship a
new compressor out to us, Roger, after discussion with Dave and Mike is going to
make some changes to the system to make it more user friendly, well he may as
well while he’s at it!!!
That evening, we had been invited onto Soggy Paws to
share some fresh Tuna that they had been given.
This was great, considering we had no fresh food and
precious few vegetables and we had not been able to get anything in
After a delicious meal of sashimi, seared tuna, rice and
coleslaw (not forgetting the cold drinks, thanks Sherry), Roger & I went
back to the boat and promptly fell into a deep sleep.