This morning at 10.30am Jane and I pulled up the
anchor and motored out of Puerto Ayora. The morning was overcast with showers
but by mid-morning things had brightened up enough for us to get going. We set
the mainsail up at the 2nd reef and full headsail and took off at 7-8 knots
into the 15 knot south-east wind. Currently we are rounding the Isla Isabella
which is the largest of all the islands in the Galapagos and has several
volcanic peaks. After that we will set our waypoint for the Marchesas and start
the countdown to this 2900NM voyage.
We will sail the whole way with the mainsail at the
2nd reef and only plan to use the genneker if we have very light winds. It is
looking as though the south-east trade winds have established themselves well
and despite being a longer passage than the Atlantic it may well be that we make
it to our destination in faster time. We have spoken to several people about the
crossing and all of them have suggested that the Pacific is a dream compared to
the Atlantic, I hope they are correct!!
Over the past three days we have been busy
preparing for this leg. We had a repair to make to the roller at the top of the
genneker and a couple of other minor repairs. These were sorted out quickly
and this gave us time to enjoy our short stay in Galapagos. Provisioning the
boat was easy as there was a very well stocked supermarket right next to the
dinghy dock and we were also able to find some fresh fruit and veggies in one of
the back streets.
On Monday afternoon all four of us hired bikes for
the afternoon. We cycled up to the Charles Darwin Centre where they care for
hundreds of baby Galapagos tortoises. adult tortoises and land iguanas. After
that we headed around to Tortuga Bay and found a large group of marine
iguanas. Fearsome looking reptiles, given that they eat algae. We went
pretty close to them for a photo but they spit at you as you come nearer. Dean
and Daniel had booked in to a hotel so Jane and I took our chance to grab a hot
shower. For me it was the first really hot shower in three months so I had it
set one notch from scalding, and took off a layer of skin!!
Really enjoyed our stay in Puerto Ayora and were
once again made to feel very welcome by the locals. Even though this is a
tourist town, the tourists only ever stay one night before they hop on
a cruise boat and leave. To be able to hang around for a few days
gave us a chance to get to know a few people. The locals have a great life and
it is obvious that there is a very strong sence of community. Everyone on the
island is employed and they certainly appear to live a happy life.
We have a long way to go but we will be making sure
we are very much on the conservative side of the ledger when it come to sailing
this enormous leg of the journey.
Thanks to everyone for the emails you have sent. We
picked most of them up only yesterday and will respond as soon as we
Regards to all, and "Go The Dockers" for this