Arrival in Galapagos Islands
No matter how much preparation you do for a sailing passage, the last few hours are always crazy as all the jobs that can’t be done until the “last minute” suddenly seem impossible to achieve. Departing mainland Ecuador was no exception as we received our paperwork a day earlier than expected, and so it was with a mad rush we departed Bahia de Caraquez the afternoon of 16 April.
The forecast we had was for very light winds – bad news for us with our heavy boat. Fortunately we were able to hoist the sails and turn the engine off only a few miles from the coast and we happily proceeded west - the first time Providence had set sail since September 2013.
We are not expecting to meet up with the established tradewinds until west of Galapagos so, as expected, we had a mix of good sailing, slow sailing, very slow sailing, and motor sailing. Carolina and Didi had the pleasure of helming Providence with following winds at times, something I’m sure our past crew won’t be jealous of when reading this J .
Eventually we arrived at our entry port Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Isla San Cristobal, early on the morning of 23 April. We sailed around the northern side of Isla San Cristobal taking in a couple of the local attractions such as Kicker Rock (famous for diving with sharks, rays etc) and Isla Lobos (famous for wildlife such as sea lions and blue footed boobies) as we cruised past. Unfortunately we were unable to stop and explore as, understandably, the local park authorities take a dim view of visiting cruising yachts that don’t proceed directly to the designated entry port to get briefed on the dos and don’ts. And also to pay the fees associated with taking a private yacht to Galapagos - believe us, there are many!
Having signed in with the help of our recommended agent Bolivar, we will spend the next few days exploring San Cristobal before heading for the population center of Santa Cruz. We are excited about seeing what all the fuss is about and hope to make the most of what each island has to offer.
We will endeavor to make time to keep you updated….
In the meantime here are some photos from the last wee while:
Rohan taking time off working UK offshore to meet Providence’s previous owners, Pam and Kevin, on the Isle of Skye, Scotland
The pleasure of owning a boat and cruising to exotic locations – diesel tank cleaning..
100 gallons of diesel delivered Ecuadorian style
Matt giving the Perkins some TLC
Preparing for the hot Pacific – Matt creating a wind scoop out of items found around the boat
One way to power a restaurant street sign – South America we will miss you!!
Providence nearly ready to depart Bahia de Caraquez – just waiting on paperwork..
Kicker Rock inbound to our first port of call Galapagos
Friendly escorts under the bow
Tchau for now,
Rohan, Matt, Carolina and Diletta
23 April 2014