01:35.972'S 89:24.442'W Galoping past the Galapagos

Hamble Warrior
Jamie Hickman
Mon 3 Apr 2023 22:57

Day 13

Last night we watched as the sun set over the Galapagos islands. We couldn't see the land but we could see the line of low-lying cloud hanging over where the land must be; the only cloud around in an otherwise unblemished sky. 

It was the most incredible sunset. The star of the show being the huge clear golden orb sinking into the sea leaving behind incredible bold splashes of colour in the sky; these lingered long after the sun had disappeared into the horizon. As I gazed upon nature's masterpiece I couldn't help but think of Charles Darwin plying these same waters in the HMS Beagle; landing in the Galapagos and writing his seminal works on evolutionary theory based on the incredible and diverse species of creatures that he discovered there. Amongst romantic dreams of huge square rigged sailing ships, men in curly wigs with triangular hats, short trousers and bronze telescopes making epic voyages of discovery I couldn't help wondering if the Red-footed Boobies shat all over their decks too.

I am *almost* certain that the voyage of the HMS Beagle was 
1819 but I will certainly fact check that sometime when I have the marvelous-magical-international-Google-web again. I don't miss the internet though (she says tapping away ready to post her blog online; yes ironic I know) I am nostalgic for an age when the answers to life's puzzles were found in the pages of large hardback books. I spent a long time this morning poring over my copy of "Seabirds: an identification guide" (Harrison, Peter: 1983) trying to identify a large white orange-beaked seabird with black wings. I am certain there would be an online app that would identify this creature in moments but I'm not convinced it would be as satisfying. I am still working on it; I will report my progress when I get to the bottom of it. I also learnt from my book that there is a single species of Penguin found only in the Galapagos Islands which is frequently found offshore so I am keeping a vigilant look out for that! Unfortunately it sounds like they predominantly populate the northwesterly Galapagos islands so the other side to where we are currently; but one little straggler had got himself as far as the coast of Panama according to my book so it's worth keeping a look out just incase!

This morning's excitement came when we sailed through a group of sea lions who were out fishing for their breakfast. Jamie called me up on deck but unfortunately I missed them. He describes them as follows "they broke the surface of the water with porpoise-like movement but when they looked up at Hamble Warrior with curiosity they had sweet cat-like faces with large brown eyes and whiskers, very graceful".

It is another stunning day in the Pacific Ocean at present. There is more cloud around than yesterday but; so far at least, it's all the white fluffy variety. Apparently there is an increased risk of squalls later.

Shortly before midnight last night we lost all wind and dropped our sails. With no sails up we rolled heavily for several hours. We took the opportunity to get as much sleep as possible but with the severity of the rolling I woke aching from bracing my body against the motion. We had drifted 5nm in the right direction when Jamie raised the sails again shortly before 7am this morning. Since then we have been making steady progress in force 3 winds; doing around 4kts as we ease our way past the most easterly Galapagos Islands. We expect to loose the wind again completely later and have a period of calms ahead of us again but we are grateful to be making way whilst we can.

2 more eggs went overboard this morning :(

Last night's Moussaka was a great success; we only ate half of it so we have a dinner ready made for tonight or tomorrow now!

Meep came up to check out what was new above decks first thing but is now back in his hammock snoozing face up in what I call "thriller pose" with his paws bent in front of him. He doesn't look like a cat with big plans for the day.

As we post this update our 5pm to 5pm daily run comes in at a respectable enough 70nm. Not bad bearing in mind we didn't have any sails up all of last night.

That's today's news folks. Have a good week all of you. I imagine a lot of you are taking a week off in the lead up to Easter so hope you have exciting plans and that the weather plays along with them.

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