With Rob & Sheralee staying in Isabela, Roger & I
weighed anchor and headed out for Sta Cruz. It was about a 7 hour sail and we
had hopes of catching up with Graham, on Eowyn, before he left for the
Now we had heard lots about the anchorage at Peurto
Ayora, being busy and rocky rolly. Indeed there are so many boats, you have to
not only have a bow anchor but also a stern anchor (a first for me). So we had not been looking forward to it, but alas it was necessary, as
Edison was due on board on Monday to remove all
the refrigeration parts.
The good news was that the World Arc were leaving before
we would arrive, the bad news is that the Blue Water Rally was due in on
Tuesday, when we hope to have left.
It was a nice sail/ motor sail and as we approached the
island was ran into the 40 or so yachts that were leaving on the World Arc. The
World Arc is a continuation of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers otherwise known
as the Arc. So we contacted Eowyn
with the intention of coming alongside to at least say hello, having missed them
in Las Perlas and Wreck Bay.
Roger increased the engine revs and we sped towards her,
but I was not convinced it was the right boat, just then Graham came on the
radio and confirmed it, we had missed them!!! Ah well, it was so close (half a
mile) yet so far. We had to get into Puerto Ayora before dark, so that was
The anchorage was relatively empty, so most of the boats had only one anchor
out, so we didn’t need a stern anchor.
The next day I was given leave to spend the day ashore,
The town is very well done, not garish and flashy, but
tastefully done. Very different to both San Cristobal which is like a seaside resort
and Isla Isabela, which is like a little village.
There are paved roads and the streets are framed with
lots of greenery and flowers.
The promenade is lovely with a play area for children
which is extremely well patronised by the locals in the evening.
One thing that Isla Isabela and Sta Cruz have in common
though is unusual architecture. It is as though the architects have been given
free reign to build whatever there heart desires.
I saw a fabulous house that was very much like the one I
had seen in Isla Mujeres,
Mexico, but this
one has the most gorgeous gates, befitting its owner, who was a fine
There is a lovely church. Lovely because it looks so
welcoming. It is full of lovely stained glass windows and the entire front is
glass, so when it is illuminated it looks amazing ( I will try and get a photo
when we go back).
It doesn’t look quite so impressive by day. The stained
windows are also not really religious. They are of the wonderful creatures of
There are the usual restaurants and shops and lots of
art Galleries. I was just thinking how little craftwork there was on the islands
and then I stumble on galleries full of local works. The prices are relatively
high, but you can find bargains. It’s the same in the restaurants. Last night we
splurged out and had a slap up meal in The Rock. A very nice restaurant, pricey
and the food was not all that, but the service was excellent and the atmosphere
was great too.
Today however, I had almeurza (the local fixed menu) at a
little restaurant called Rincon de Alma, just a block down from the Rock. For $4
I had a large bowl of soup, a plate of grilled fish, rice and vegetables and a
glass of Tamarind and Naranjillo juice (delicious). All that for the same price
as my dessert the night before !!!
I was looking for a tee shirt for Roger. Something
discreet, mainly to replace his diminishing stock as much as a
into one shop and from nowhere, heard ‘good morning’. I couldn’t see anyone, but
replied all the same. I walked to the back of the store and there saw the source
of the voice. A small gentleman called Angelo.
He is very
excitable, a little bit like the ‘white rabbit’ out of Alice in Wonderland. Is
was extremely animated and spoke good English, or should I say that his English
pronunciation was good, but his grammar left much to the imagination.
He was also the person responsible for making all the tee
shirts. They are all hand painted, free hand! He was busy painting a hammerhead
shark on one.
I thought ‘a Manta ray would be perfect for Roger’ as it
would be significant. So I arranged for him to paint one for Roger and we are to
pick it up later this evening. At least it would be unique and in the colour and
style of choice rather than what you could get.
The main purpose of my visit, however, was to suss out
the provisioning facilities.
I passed a
little fish market, where the human were not the only customers, Pelicans
hovered close by in the hope of scraps.
The fish looked good, so assuming we have refrigeration,
I will stock up before we head off into the wild blue yonder.
Now I know that we have Rob on board to help catch fish,
but as this is an El Nino year and that can affect fish levels, I am taking no
However, the supermarket is a different matter. I can
only hope that the reason there is nothing on the shelves is because the 40
yachts that make up the World Arc have bought everything. If not, then
refrigeration or no refrigeration, we are in deep trouble. There was no meat,
hardly any vegetables, what vegetables they had were not worth giving storage
space to. Plus we also have the Blue water cruise to compete with.
Ah well, I’m sure it will all sort itself out, one way or
After a very uncomfortable, rocky rolly night (the wind
had changed direction) we woke early and got ready to weigh anchor. I have to
say I was pleased to be leaving the anchorage as more Blue water cruisers were
arriving. One had anchored alongside of us (a posh one, as they were flying a
blue defaced ensign) and had put out a stern anchor. Now that is fine and dandy
if all of the boats around you have stern anchors out, but as none of them did,
it was a risky strategy. Why? Because as the wind changes direction, the boats
on one anchor swing into the wind, but if you have a bow and a stern anchor out,
well you don’t move…..get the picture?? So as we had swung and they hadn’t, we
were a little too close for comfort, so I was glad to betting out of
The sail (sorry, motor sail, I did say the wind had
switched) back to Isla Isabela was a fast one and we were safely back in our
anchorage just after 3pm. I have to say that our track record with the wind
leaves a lot to be desired and gives me concern for the time it will take to get
across to the Marquesas!!!!
If any of you have looked on google earth to see exactly
where we are, it may look like there appears to be nothing but water between us
and Australia. You have to zoom in quite
a way to see the islands between us and Australia, but rest assured they are
After the Galapagos, we are heading for the Marquesas in
French Polynesia, then onto the Touamotu islands, then Tahiti, the Society
islands, Cook Islands, Tonga,
Fiji, Vanuatu and finally Australia.
Oh yes and a quick update, remember Kinky the Skink? Well
he is alive a well. Roger spotted him under the table in the