Somwhere in the Pacific....

Tue 28 Apr 2009 21:42
Position 04:40.17S 95:35.17W

27 April 2009 (363 NM SW of the Galapagos Islands)

Dear All,

We are now in home waters; the South Pacific. Mikado is humming along with
full sail at a comfortable 7-8 knots in steady SE trade winds off the beam
with the gentle sound of bubbling warm water streaming along her hull. It is
3am as I write and it is my watch. I usually do the 1am to 5am watch, Nick
does the early watch from 9pm and Jenny gets an early start from 5am. This
is now our 3rd day out to sea and we are back into our routine.

The Galapagos Islands were fantastic. The authorities have eased off and you
can now spend 20 days exploring this natural paradise - previously you were
only allowed to stay 3 days and then had to move on. We spent a week at
Academy Bay on Santa Cruz island, which is the main tourist centre, and did
a few tours. We snorkeled with reef sharks and sea-lions, got close up with
giant tortoises and Iguanas in the wild, saw the blue footed and red footed
booby birds and crawled through underground lava tubes. There is a lot to
see and you could easily spend more time there.

Georgina is doing an assignment on the islands as part of her
home-schooling. It is fantastic that she can use photos that she took
herself and explain first-hand the things she has seen and heard from our
guides etc.. This is real life schooling and something she will remember for
a lifetime.

We caught up with a few cruising friends as well and one night organized a
dinner at one of the local restaurants run by the Angermeyer family in the
original family home on the point in Academy Bay : This was the family that
established eco-tourism in the Galapagos and hosted Jacque Cousteau and
others in the early 70's etc. Quite a few came along, including Gordon and
Anne on Equinox, Bertil and Brita from Blues, Holger and Carole from Ohana,
Paul and Lynne from White Hawk and Finn and Raden off Hilde. It was a great
evening and we were also able to celebrate Nick's 16th birthday at the same

Some of our other friends went to Wreck Bay on San Cristobal but we will
meet them in the Marquesas or in the Tuamotan Archipeligo. If the current
conditions hold, we should make our destination of Fatu Hiva (the southern
most island) in 14-15 more days. Plan is to spend a few days there and then
sail up to Hiva Oa to formerly check-in.

We have been catching regular fish and this has been a bonus. But
unfortunately I had to throw a mid-sized Barracuda back today - Jenny
complained that we already had fish in the fridge and there was no more
room....Aaah the dramas of on-board life.

By the way, I think I am now becoming a "cruising sailor"...Here's my top 10

1. I don't know the surnames of most of the other cruisers we meet and they
most likely don't know mine. Our yacht name has become our new surname.
2. I no longer get frustrated when things don't work on the yacht. Everyone
has a list of things that need to be fixed or replaced - that's part of
3. The weather is a far more important topic than current affairs. In fact I
can't remember when I last read a newspaper or checked the local news
on-line. Who won the Queensland election?
4. If we can sail at greater than 4 knots than that is good progress. 6+
knots is a bonus
5. Getting 8 hours sleep in one session is a luxury....It takes a while to
get out of "watch mode"
6. I like not having the mobile on all the time, or having Emails popping up
every few minutes.
7. I can understand the advantages of "Croc" sandals - though I doubt I will
ever buy a pair
8. Shaving once a week is acceptable and I will get a haircut within the
next month when I can find a barber
9. "Going shopping" always includes a visit to the chandlery store.
10. It doesn't matter what size your yacht is or how much gear is on it-
we're all out here living the dream.

Til next time

Ian (and Jenny, Nick and Georgina)