We've reached the promise land
If this ain't paradise, then I don't know what is!
We made landfall at around 5.30 just as the sun came up, glorious sunrise.
The first thing we noticed is there wasn’t a single artificial light on the island, at all, no evidence of human inhabitants on the island. As the sky lightened with the sun, it revealed the dramatic Jurassic like peaks with lush green jagged fingers sprawling down for from the mountain that sits at 1150m. The waves crashed on the windward rocks creating clouds of shimmering spray that glimmered in the rising sun. We scanned the land mass for any sign of human presence…nothing, not a single thing.
As we neared, we spotted a little fishing boat, and a man gave us a big enthusiastic wave, we felt welcome. The wind followed us round as we drifted as close as we dared to the sheer rock faces of the southern end. The chart marks an area along the coastline labelled ‘zone non hydrographiee’, meaning not surveyed…we really are in uncharted waters.
These islands are the most remote archipelago in the world (being the furthest from land mass). You really feel the remoteness, not just from the distance travelled but the rawness of the land.
As we rounded the corner, our senses were filled with the smell of land, sweet smelling and fresh. Other than the smell of disintegrating flying fish on the deck and our cooking, there isn't really a smell to the ocean.
As we approached our anchorage, we started to make out a deep luteous valley fringed with dense coconut palms followed by an ancient canopy of rain forest stretching up towards the mountain peaks....truly the densest relief I have ever seen.
There were 2 other yachts in the anchorage, one of which was 'Malika Queen' who we rafted up with through the Panama canal. They only arrived the evening before and set off half a day before and didn't stop in the Galapagos, so we haven't done badly.
We dropped the hook in 15metres and gave ourselves a pat on the back. The French boat opposite came over to give us a ginormous grapefruit and fried banana, what a welcome!
We will be tuning down the pace from now and enjoying these magnificent islands. We've now sailed 9500nm (over 8000 in the last 10 weeks), we're about ¾ of the way to NZ so it now seems totally achievable to be there by January 2024.
Ben's already spotted a wave he wants to foil and we're feeling like proper blobs of unfitness so some hiking and swimming will be in order too.
We'll aim to blog several times a week instead of daily whilst exploring the islands (now you know we haven't sunk or fallen overboard getting here). Thanks for reading, we hope you're enjoying it, we'd love to hear what you're all up to so please do drop us a line (we have unlimited data now we're near land).
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