Cattitude Blog 26th May 2013

Gordon Tourlemain
Thu 30 May 2013 23:12
Cattitude Position 02:32.8S 20:57.8W
So here we are, back on the open ocean. With the rhythm of the watch schedule firmly programmed into our internal clocks,
relaxing routines set in and the days seem to flow into eachother. Life at sea becomes punctuated by breaks in those routines,
whether its a sudden wind shift, a visiting pod of dolphins, the struggle to get a fish on board or watching a tanker drift by
on the horizon.
Having completed the first leg of the trip (a full week offshore), we arrived at anchor last Wednesday evening after a day
of sailing through the group of islands that makes up the Galapagos. The mostly uninhabited islands themselves are low-lying,
barren and rocky, giving off an almost prehistoric vibe as we sailed past.
We were happy to have arrived, and all sat down together to a lovely meal of fresh Wahoo that had been caught that very
afternoon (10kgs more of which were waiting in the freezer). After dinner, almost as if to celebrate our arrival, the famous
Galapagos seals started playing in the underwater lights right off the back of the boat! The wild animals were obviously
accostomed to human interaction and swam right up to us (and our cameras), putting on a wonderful show for the excited
After a good nights rest, the next morning we all eagerly went ashore, only to be met be an agent bearing some bad news.
As Steve talked with him the rest of the crew explored the dock. Rounding the corner we saw a group of seals that reminded
me more of a pack of sleepy dogs, lazing about without a care in the world under wooden benches. They hardly looked as we
sat right next to them, and seemed not to mind as long as they didnt have to move. In the clear waters below, small penguins
darted around chasing fish while large colourful crabs sat perched on their rocks.
When Steve returned he informed us of extortionatly high cost of stepping ashore to have a proper look around, as well as
the heavy restrictions the Equadorian government places on its visitors. After much discussion, and getting a better sense of
the type of exploring we would actually be allowed to do (expensive prearranged day-tours with long lines of other tourists),
we decided that the short glimpse that we did get to witness was enough, and carried on.
We waved goodbye that evening to the last piece of land we would be seeing for a long time, as we all prepared ourselves to
go where no man or woman (on board) had gone before...