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Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Fri 11 Aug 2017 14:22
Wed 10th August
Now in Academy Bay, Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz. This is the main centre for Galapagos tours and the town is bigger and busier than Puerto Baquirezo Moreno on San Cristobal. We arrived tuesday morning after an overnight sail (motoring the last couple of hours as the wind died) and took up the obvious clear mooring spot among the other yachts. All the boats here have a stern anchor to hold them nose into the swell which is at a 30 deg angle to the wind. Otherwise with bow anchor only the boat sits across the small waves and you rock quite violenty making life aboard uncomfortable. I have had several goes at setting my stern anchor and hope it is now holding but I suspect that the reason this spot was vacant is that the bottom is harder than esewhere- certainly my Danforth stern anchor doesnt like it.
Final thoughts on the camera story- I assume that the police saw through Mariellas story and pursuaded her to hand it over or face being thrown in the brigg or whatever the local equivalent punishment. We haven't noticed any prisons on our travels. Maybe they roughed her up a bit but that could be wishful thinking on my part. I initially thought that the SD card had been pinched as the card in the camera was my spare with a few pics of Cornwall but none of Chimborazo etc. Diana fortunately is better at searching than me and found the missing card in a concealed compartment in the camera bag. I imagine that the police had a search through my pics looking for confirmation that the camera was actually mine. If there were none of Diana on the 1st card I have been found out.
The reported equipment successes have proved less lasting. The forward heads pump so proudly conquered on monday is dripping and two further attempts to clean the gasket and re-seal have not improved it. Finally removing the whole affair and pressure testing with soap I found a crack in the body. I have attempted a resin repair but suspect nothing short of a new pump will be drip free.
Then motoring into port on tuesday should have raised the volts to a healthy 13.5V but no- still low 12's. I despair of ever have a working alternator.
Having arrived at 9am we had to wait untill 3pm on Tuesday for our visit from the port captain and inspection- this was fortunately brief and more of a formality after our thorough going over in San Cristobal.
We took a taxi ashore after he left and had a walk around town. Lots of tourist shops and almost as many tour agencies. Most of the shops selling a similar selection of Galapagos T shirts, soft toys and such but also some more classy arty crafty shops with high priced but tasteful wares. We suppered at a street kiosk in a long street of kiosks with tables all down the middle of the road. Fish rice and beans was fresh, tasty and filling- we could have chosen lobster rice and beans or shrimp rice and beans. Some kiosks stretched to chicken rice and beans but not Esmeraldas which of course we had to choose.
Today we did the Darwin Reserch Centre in the morning which is dedicated to maintaining the species unique to the Galapagos. They rear tortoises and rare finches. They research behaviour and keep a wary eye on invasive species. Currently a fly is wreaking havock with finch chicks and an insect that was destroying plant life is being zapped with helpful ladybirds. The centre has an impressive array of buildings and appears to be well funded from voluntary donations. This is where Lonesome George (the last Pinta tortoise) ended his days and is now preserved and on display in his own chilled room.
After lunch we walked to a salt water lava canyon which is cut off from the sea and so makes an impressive spot for a swim between the high lava walls. It has rather a confined and therefore busy access at one end with swimmers queing to get in. The walk to the canyon on boardwalks across pink salt flats and swampy lagoons with occasional heron and stilt evoked those artist impressions of the primordial swamp from which life 1st emerged.
So far the sea lions have been notably absent here. Just the one at the fish market waiting patiently for scraps along with the less patient Pelicans and hastling Frigate birds. Perhaps they have relinquished the busy town to the tourists and prefer quieter spots for the serious job of relaxation.