Mating Manta

Salsa af Stavsnas
Ellinor Ristoff Staffan Ehde
Mon 13 May 2013 21:50
Just back from a tour where the family on Sirius and ourselves had a boat and a guide all by ourselves.
We went westward along the coast of Isabela first to watch Manta Ray (djävulsrockor), and not only did we see them, we jumped in and snorkeled with two huge rays mating! Manta Rays are about 3-5 meters in average and can become 10 meters between the wing tips.
After that we went into Les Tunneles, it is channels made out of lava, the pictures will tell you everything. Amazing! The biggest adventure getting there is that the boat had to pass breaking waves before getting into calmer water. So they wait for the right moment and then they take all the power out of two 175horse power engines and pass shallow water.
Once inside we had a short walk on the passages made by lava and we could just look at a couple of blue footet boobies from 3 decimeters! After that we went snorkeling and we ended up playing with a puppie sealion that loved to be with us. Ellinor was the one who stayed most with him/her. It swam around us so close it would almost touch us. It made spirals, loops and all you can think of.
Pinguins where ashore looking at these strange creatures passing by, they really look like they wear a toxedo.
Next place we saw white fin sharks in pools of water created by the lava, there is white sand in the pools and it looks so nice and protected. The sharks contrast that and also the flies that get into your hair and try to bite you when you are above the waterline.
We saw so many ´seaturtles we stopped counting them.
What a day! Now it is 3pm and at 4pm the artist that Ellinor spent her birthday afternoon with, will come to us. He loves the sea and was really curious on how we live on board. They had a great afternoon together and I think Ellinor found his technique with drawing on thin copper to be the most rewarding.
We are planning on leaving thursday as written before but we might be delayed by Windarra getting in. They where heading for Marquesas directly from Panama but have problems with their Autopilot. They are just two adults and two children like us and without an Autopilot the journey can become terrible. Thats why we have two systems, one electric and one winddriven.
We got an interesting question from Kent Dahlin, I'll translate it briefly:
Heading is: Marquesas
Såg du skrev att andra båttar gick mot denna ögrupp - det måste väl minst vara 22-2400 nm dit?
säg delat med 5knop i snitt = 19/20 dgr? Hur mycket färskvatten kan båten producera/dag när Ni
Hela detta enorma område  & bort till Vanuatu/Tuvalu och Solomon-örna  måste väl ta minst 1 år att genomforska?

Kenth ( i Västerås)=
I saw yuo wrote in your blog that other boats went towards this island archipellago (Marquesas)- must be 2-2400 nm to go?
If you make 5 knots=19/20 days? How much fresh water can you produce/day when you are sailing
This enormous area all the way to Vanuatu/Tuvalu and Solomon-islands must take a year to explore?
So this is our answer. From here to Marquesas it is about 3000nM to go. You head south til 3-4 degrees S  and then go with the current and the tradewinds all the way to Marquesas. Takes about a month to get there. So you are far out, far away.
In the Atlantic crossing we learned how to cope with such a long journey.
The water is no issue since we can load the boat with 700 liters of water in four different tanks. Most boats can live with that.
But for instance to fill your boat here in Galapagos is very hard since we are at anchor and cannot get close to shore. And the quality has been a problem here for most. We have the luxury of producing our own water, with a desilianator, we have two systems, an electric that can produce 25 liters per hour and an emergency handdriven system that is placed in our grab bag.
The 25 liter per hour is on in average an hour per day, but we should have it on for two since our tanks are slowly going down.
Producing 50m liters per day is a luxury, we can take a fresh water shower (short) and we can do all dishes in fresh water as well.
Exploring this area can easily take a year, and the biggest problem is the Taifoon season coming November, by then we have to be out of it (down or up) or in a safe place where we can outride an orcano (Tahiti, Fiji)
We are considering staying here an extra year and instead of spending the third year sailing the Indian Ocean wich we believe is a rougher experience, we might sell the boat in Australia and fly home. So far our plan is NOT to stay one year longer away from home...
This is not decided yet but under consideration.
Another news bomb for some is that we are heading home to Sweden June 2014. not this year, next year. The reason is that my oldest daughter Lisa is getting married to Gustaf (who proposed to her on Salsa in St Lucia)
Tomorrow night, all going well a LOT of pictures will be uploaded on this site..