Fwd: position S00 57.930 W90 57.719

Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Sat 19 Aug 2017 00:46

Fri 18th August

Now on Isabella (Puerto Villamill) which has a very pleasant sheltered anchorage. We arrived at about 4pm yesterday having sailed round Isla Tortuga which is a crescent shaped ridge rising to the north and the points of the C sloping into the sea to the south, punctuated with offlying rocks. The shape gives clear impression of how the volcanic eruption shaped the island. No beaches were visible and the only occupants appeared to be a colony of boobies.

Our local agent, Stephen arrived within an hour of my call to report our presence. He was accompanied by a couple of port officials who ran through the now familiar checks but on studying our Zarpe there was much shaking of heads as it was 2 days out of date. We explained our mechanical issues that delayed our departure and pointed out that we had informed Santa Cruz agent Johnny Romero of the delay and had been assured that the Zarpe would be O.K. After many phone calls by Stephen they decided we could stay after all much to our relief. The prospect of returning to Santa Cruz to get a new Zarpe was not one to entertain and had we been asked to do so we may have had to stage a sit in or anchor in if that is the term for a stubborn boat.

We are the only yacht here which suggests either that no-one else is mad enough to pay for the 3 island permit or that everone else is stuck in Santa Cruz attending to various ailments such as broke masts. I chose an anchorage adjacent (but well clear of) a supply boat that was being unloaded into barges as we arrived. We were rudely awoken in the night by horrible crunching noises and jumping on deck found the freighter along side us bumping against our unprotected rail. He was leaving the anchorage but why he dropped onto us I don't know. We now have a smear of blue paint to add to the various taxi scuff marks picked up previously.
This morning a trip ashore and walk into town gave an impression of a quieter, but also slightly smarter island with nice houses, swish hotels and hostels and the familiar array of tour shops.  
It is much the largest island but also less populous (2200) than Santa Cruz & San Cristobal. We found a nice restaurant for coffee and egg on toast plus wifi for email catchup and then hired bikes to take a ride out to the Muro de las Lagrimas (wall of tears). A lovely sandy coastal track with sandy surf beaches one side and lagoons the other to find a dry tufa stone wall some 9m high that was built by prisoners who were confined here in the 1950's.  The wall had no purpose other than forcing tortoises to take 100m detour to get round the end. For a tortoise that is no small task. A swim on the way back followed by late lunch in the same restaurant pretty much made a day of it and we returned to OR for tea. 

The water taxis here are more difficult to hail as they appear not to listen to  the radio and have further to travel so charge over double the fare to that we have become accustomed. Tempting to use the dinghy if it were not for the rather tricky route through the rocks and a shortage of space for safe storage above high water.

We have booked a guided hike to the Volcano Sierra Negro tomorrow so asked the taxi to call for us at 6.30. The decision of taxi vs dinghy will depend on whether  he arrives on time.