W. Eric Faber
Sun 22 Feb 2015 01:16
Isla San Christobal
Next Destination: Isla Santa Cruz - Galapagos Islands
We sighted Isla San Christobal at around 8am on Thursday and our hearts filled with great expectations. It took us the better part of the day, though, to reach the anchorage in the Southwest of the island. The wind had been fickle and the tide unhelpful so that we had to rely on engine power for 4 hours increasing our total engine hours since Contadora to 20. The seas around San Cristobal are particularly pacific with only a little breeze during the day to blunt the edge of the searing sun. By 5pm we were tied up to a large commercial buoy that bumped the boat when the tide turned in the night. We were soon ashore to meet up with the other ARC participants in the Miconia Hotel, a modest affair on the sea front although probably the best of all establishments in the town. It would not qualify for any rating at home. On the way to it by water taxi, we were greeted by a chorus of sea lion voices that bleated their raw presence wherever they were lounging about: on people’s boats, jetties and rocks. Today even on a waiting bench near the pier. Twice Julia tried to share the bench with him so that I could photograph her next to him, but he would rear and turn his front issuing a belligerent trumpet that frightened Julia, but a gentle approach relented him and a photograph was taken.
We have been on an island tour, visiting the remains of an ancient crater, now a lake and home to many birds including frigates, who come to wash the salt off their feathers. The tour included a visit to a giant tortoise breeding farm, where the tortoises unique to the island are helped to procreate and re-populate the island after many decades of slaughter. Today we were taken for a snorkeling trip at Kicker Rock where fish life is rich and lively with whales and sharks. We saw them all.
On Monday we sail to Isla Santa Cruz, where we shall anchor in Puerto Ayora and take day trips in Santa Cruz or ferry over to Isla Isabella for a day or two.