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Date: 08 Mar 2011 21:23:00
Title: Ecuador, Departing and arriving

Leaving Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador (Mainland)
We get back to the boat and experience the best sleep we have had in 3 weeks,  Obviously missing that gentle rocking to sleep. Or maybe it's the lack of bed mites, daily exhileration or just the continuous mental stresses about the jeopardy we are constantly putting the family through.

We are waiting for our 'Autographo' to come through,  Colin has spent much time agonising about 'should we - shouldn't we' invest in this expensive permit that will allow us to visit the 3 main Islands in the Galap.  He finally bite the bullet before we left for our land adventures,  So now we are unable to leave the mainland until we have been granted the 'auto'  this we are told will be the 5th so we have a week to get the boat Ocean ready.  We decide due to the state of the water to find a local person to clean props and free the bottom of any barnicles.  On board steps 'Juan ieto' roughly translated to 'Little Juan',  which he is.  Juan works hard cleaning topsides etc for a few days and then submerges to do the hulls,  Colin duely impressed with his work ethic and we releaved to find out that the bottom is in good shape.

We leave Juan with lunch on the table, bread, cheese, ham, salad and tell him to help himself whilst we go in search for our daily $2 lunch.   3 hours later colin pops back to the boat to releave 'Little Juan' only to discover my mornings work preparing food for our passage has been reduce to three meal for 4 people not the 40 portions we left on the boat with now not so little 'Little Juan'.  It was no mean feat to consume that amount of food. We discover after a short time at sea that any bottom cleaning whilst we were not on the boat was secondary to eating,  which forces Colin mid ocean to jump into the sea and release the props from the cake of barnicles and observe the host of sealife  clinging to the bottom.  The slow boat to Galapogos we certainly where.
 
 PB in front of the Bahis metropolis
 
Carnival is going on whilst we prepare to leave.  A very low key affair compared to Rio I am sure.  Noisy along the waterfront, and a very small procession with Mrs Bahia at the head of it.  We take the opportunity to walk across the bridge and sample the local festivities on the beach of St Vincente.  Not far removed from Blackpool really.
  Complete with fire engine and lion rides
  
 
Provisoning by rickshaw.  Then washing all the fruit and veg and drying on the tramp
  
We walked up the hill to the big cross and looked down on teh entrance to the estury.  Can't see where the track is to get out.  LUckily we'll have a pilot.
 
 
A promised 4-5 days ended up being 8 wonderful days of absolutley no worries, with the exception of a blocked loo,  not on my job description,  must make a mantal note not to get too upset when I am the only one cleaning and tidying.
 Crossed the equator AGAIN
Our days ran something like breakfast, School, Lunch, craft workshop, story reading (poo workshops for some), sundowners, supper, film, bed.  Colin and I were able to switch our watches so we did alternated days of school and crafts. 
Whilst at times we worry about the general lack of the kids education this trip has given us the chance to discuss, look-up what the children ask about,  so we've covered Da Vinci, Hilter and world war II (mostly stimulated by 'the sound of music') and Of course Darwin evolution and religion (Cosmo most interested as his favourite animals are monkeys).
 
Zinnia seems to be getting more beautiful everyday, and at times she really can take our breath away,  but that is probably just a proud parent speaking and of course it doesn't detract having sunbleached hair and an amazing all over tan.  Cosmo on occasion is taken into Z parlour and an act of beautifying takes place,  with great hoots and reels of laughter he emerges as Cosmina, he seems torn by this creation, as to make folk laugh seems his lifes work, but to be dressed up in stinky girly kit seems to grate.
 
Had the spinnaker up night and day, until there wasn't even enough wind to carry that and we had to motor the last 24 hours.
  
 Setting bangers off on paper boats astern.  
  
The night passages have been a complete delight, which is just as well as our next stint could last up to 6 wks at sea, given our current windless state.
 
Very little wild life seen much to Colins annoyance we held off for the first 4 day as food supplies where aplenty so no fish required.  We have,as a result of barron seas had to improvise.  To day was obviously a step too far for Colin and after watching a Dorado circle the boat for 20 mins and failing lure him with hooks and bait.  Colin resorted to his new killing machine, the speargun.  Not sure if this constitues as good sport or not; Gunning fish down from a moving boat whilst undersail .........
 
I've seen the most spectacular sunrises where you can see a pod of dolphins surfacing for as far at the eye can see all disappearing into the rays of the morning sun, and occasionally a small group will come play at the bows, totally magic.  Thank god for the rest of the family being here as I can really imagine the madness that can develop with out the sight of land for so long,  Last night I thought I was having one of those episodes when I thought I heard one of the children crying,  after checking twice I could still hear the noice only it seemed to be calling from the sea.  With my body and ear bending over the rail I continued to listen,  this time I am convinced I can hear the sounds of spurting whales....  Not only this but running a long the boat,  the white streeks are bathed in star light and seem to be playing tricks on me.   I very unromantically resort to a torch which does two things, confirms I am not going mad (just yet) but also frightens my magical moment away.  Today we heard that noise again,  so the whole family where able to watch 2 young whales following in the boats wake about 10 meters off.
 
Arrival in San Cristobal, Galapagos at dawn  
 

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