Arrival in Galapagos

Pearl of Persia
Andrew Lock
Fri 22 Mar 2013 16:59
Galapagos is indelibly associated with Charles Darwin and his visit here in
1835. He arrived on HMS Beagle on a 5 year odyssey around the world, stayed
just one month, but it was this place more than any other that helped him
develop his theory of evolution. The islands sit on the equator but don't
really have a tropical climate. No coconut lined bays or coral atolls. The
cold Humbolt current from Peru and the warm Equatorial current meet to give
an astonishing array and variety of life, both above and below the water. At
10 in the morning, we dropped anchor in Porto Ayora on the island of Santa
Cruz, hoisted the yellow flag to indicate we were a foreign ship requesting
customs and immigration clearance and sat back to await the visit of a
variety of officials. They arrived within the hour needing multiple copies
of passports, ships papers, and crew lists, made a cursory inspection of the
boat for stray wildlife and non permitted foodstuffs such as oranges and
mangoes and we were free to go ashore. Porto Ayora is the largest town in
the islands, slightly quirky but pleasant and really quite modern, similar
to a small Spanish provincial town.
After a long passage there are always jobs to do on the boat, cleaning,
repairing, provisioning and it's sometimes difficult to get out and do the
things we want to be tourists for a few days. This time it was
the battery charger that was giving problems, if fact it had been an ongoing
problem for months, with attempts in Antigua and Panama to sort it out, but
finally with a new one installed we could tick off a 'job done'. No sooner
had we done that, when we discovered the water maker wasn't operating
properly so a day was spent getting that fixed. Apart from her hair drier,
Sussanne considers the water maker the most important equipment on the boat
as it allows her to have a daily shower, as well as keeping us in drinking
water. Finally we had some time for exploring which Sussanne will tell you