FW: 00:44.9125S 090:18.454W
We made it! 1035 nautical miles from our start point
on the Panama Canal and 950 NM for our last leg from the Las Perlas Islands.
We arrived on Galapagos yesterday (Sunday) at 1030, Mike having
sighted land while on watch around 7am. But before Galapagos there is
much to be said about Saturday which after a couple of very quiet days was
exciting from start to finish.
We woke to a familiar smell I could not place and then
realised it was Ria baking bread. Rather surreal in the middle of the
Pacific but it was fabulous. One of the two loaves was eaten by tea time.
And with loaves you need fishes so......
..... while the bread was still in the oven one of the
fishing lines pinged and all swung into action to land a Mahi Mahi (aka
Dorado). Stunning looking fish, very bright yellow, silver and blue in
the water although it quickly fades to mainly silver once it is landed.
We guessed it weighed about 15lbs. Once landed we needed our breakfast and
the fish had to go somewhere; so head down in the kitchen sink it was.
Shortly after, as we were getting ready to cross the line we
spotted dolphins and then whales! What a sight, quite a few of
them. They were Pilot Whales (according to the whales and dolphin
recognition handbook that we have on board.) They were a couple of hundred yards
away but we still had a really good view.
While recovering from the excitement we approached the
equator so, Mike donned homemade crown (cereal box), gown ( a throw from the
sofa) and trident (wooden fork with three prongs) and as the only Shellback
(person who has crossed the line by sea before) he lead the ceremony for the
three of us Pollywogs (person who has not crossed the line). This
involved drinking a tot of rum in one go and pouring one into the sea for
Neptune. Then a shave; or at least a smothering in shaving foam, and a
dunking; or at least a mug of seawater over your head. Then the three of
us are allowed to get our own back so Mike ended up with a bucket over
him. Grateful thanks to our friend Tom Sunter for his expertise via
e-mail that ensured Mike followed Royal Navy tradition.
A quick shower on deck to rinse of the seawater was followed
by a champagne lunch. All very civilised and very much helped by the
complete lack of wind and very calm sea. It would have been rather more
difficult if we were rolling or bouncing around.
Then a turtle swam past. We turned the boat round to
try and get a better look but it wasn’t up for being looked at and went
At the end of a relatively quiet afternoon the second
fishing line ran out and I saw something very large leap out of the
water. Again, much activity; Mike taking in the second rod that was now
tangled with the first; Duncan working hard to bring the fish in while Ria got
him into a harness and clipped on to the boat. This one was even bigger
and weighed in at 30lbs.
Quite a joint effort to get that one on board.
So now we have a great deal of fish and it was time to
deploy the ‘Sushi Made Easy’ recipe book that Ria had been given
for just such an occasion. Impressively she had the sushi rice,
seaweed wrap, rice vinegar, pickled ginger and wasabi paste to hand as
Supper was Cerviche (thinly sliced raw fish marinated in
lemon juice so that the acidity ‘cooks’ the flesh, served with raw
onion and olive oil - very yummy) to start with followed by sushi.
Delicious. Fortunately there is a freezer on board although we will be
enjoying the fish in a number of different recipes over the next few days
The night was incredibly still and calm with the sea so flat
that you could see the stars reflected in it. Because the moon is smaller
and rose later it was much darker than it had been so the stars showed very
clearly; especially the Milky Way. When Mike and I did our watches in the
early hours there was quite a haze and all the colours of the rainbow in rings
around the moon. Finally a frigate bird circled the boat and kept me
entertained with her attempts to land on the mast which she eventually did; put
her head under her wing and went to sleep. As it came light Mike watched
her sit up, stretch and then fly off.
We anchored in Academia Bay on the island of Santa Cruz and
the wind got up just as we were coming in. Typical after three days of
motoring rather than sailing. We saw turtles as we motored past the island and many
more birds of course. We went ashore to get our bearings and it is a nice
little town with cafe’s and souvenir shops as you would expect but most
striking (after a week at sea) are the vibrant colours of the flowers and
trees. We have found a laundry (hooray!), a bakery (hooray!) and several
promising restaurants. We are now deciding which tours we would like to
take and are rather spoilt for choice.
In the water taxi on the way back out to the boat we watched
a sea lion waddle round the deck of a large motorboat, climb up onto the window
and go to sleep in the most comfortable spot resting his head on a strut.
He had certainly done that before.
The fish had to go somewhere while we had breakfast.
King Neptune and
The appropriate technique when the fish fights
Another perfect Pacific sunset.