We use 18 Litres per hour flat out. The locals provided less than 20 gallons per hour!
John & Irene Hunt
Sat 8 Mar 2008 21:38
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno Isla San Cristobal Galapagos 00:54S 89:37WOriginally called Chatham Island in the days of Darwin and the British ruled the world. Very rolly anchorage with long swells coming in from the Pacific. Both sides of the entrance had breakers with the southern point having a well established surfing break.
Well what did we see? Me, not a lot and I think Irene even less. The WARC team were established in an upstairs bar/restaurant called the Hotel Restaurant Miconia. Food wasn't bad but they put the booze in the fridge a couple of hours before Happy Hour so consequently we had warm beer over ice on one occasion. I went ashore twice while we were here.
The harbour is full of seals which decide that they want to have a sun bathe and they launch themselves onto any vaguely level surface to lie in the sun. We kept our back swim platform up as a number of seals had laid claim to the back steps on a few catamarans.
Fuelling was offered by the local agent. Phew what a marathon! On the Thursday evening, three yachts had been offered the opportunity of refuelling by reversing stern to a large commercial concrete dock and they pumping fuel down onto the boat. Keoloha8 was first and under the circumstances the last that evening. They started at 17:00 and did not finish until after 20:30. They had to strain all the fuel to keep the dirt out and consequently the flow rate in the filter was a lot slower than that coming out of the pipe and fuel went everywhere. Southern Princess stood by for 4 hours before our turn was abandoned. We were advised that we would start again at first light 05:30 Friday. The due time saw us up and ready to go. Joseph, the young lad (17) in charge of this promised us "won't be long another 10 minutes only" from 05:30 to 07:30 when he finally arrived alongside in a water taxi with 190 gallons (we had ordered 200 gallons) of fuel in 10 & 20 gallon containers which we then siphoned into our tanks through a Baha Filter which traps dirt, insects and water; all in evidence.
Irene, Lorraine and I had booked on the 08:30 snorkelling tour to Kicker Rock and as the time approached, we sent Lorraine off while Irene & I persevered with Joseph. Now Joseph is 17 years old, he is impressed with his management role and he also had his mobile (never stopped ringing) and his VHF which he never stopped using while transferring fuel, mostly into our yacht but with monotonous regularity over our yacht as well.
To get the fuel into the bladder on deck, we had to elevate the container up to boom height which was even more awkward. The last of the 190 gallons went in at around 09:30. Joseph disappeared to get the extra 10 gallons and the order for Storyteller the next on the fuelling list. Storytellers order arrived and I asked Joseph for the 10 gallons. "No" he said, "This 190 gallons is for Storyteller and your last 10 gallons is coming in a minute with my brother". This duly arrived BUT then the little so & so made me wait until he had finished the Storyteller 190 gallons before he would come back to finish off the last 10 gallons for Southern Princess.
He arrived back on board with the siphon hose at around 11:00 and we then hoisted the container to boom height to get it into the bladder. Joseph is in charge of siphon hose and pouring while I juggled the filter over the flexible filling nozzle of the bladder. Joseph is balanced about 2' above my head. So the phone rings! The VHF crackles his name! And Joseph manages to answer the phone, talk in the VHF but he doesn't take much attention with the hose which ends up pouring diesel all over my head, up my nose, in my mouth, in my eyes, all over the dinghy, in the open lazarette locker and all over the whole bloody aft end of the yacht AND then he looks all hurt when I go off my trolley!
The oil slick seen off the aft end of Southern Princess at 11:30 was me having a swim. Used a whole container of hair shampoo getting rid of the stuff off my body etc, Irene poured a half bottle of Visine in my eyes and I showered on the swim platform before tackling the cleaning of the yacht. I have a salt water hose so with soap, buckets, scrubbing brushes I took an hour to clean off the yacht. the teak deck is horribly stained but it will bleach out with the sun eventually.
So fuelling took 4 hours on Thursday hanging about and 7 hours on Friday from start to finish. 200 gallons in 11 hours! Must be a record BUT why does it happen to me?
Thursday night (21:00 hours) saw one of the arriving catamarans (Williwaw II) lose the use of both motors while negotiating the outer channel. Tallulah Ruby II towed her in while I launched our RIB. We then strapped the RIB to the side of the catamaran and we steered her to an anchoring spot and help pull her anchor in for a safe night. Something always happening in yachting.
Lorraine enjoyed the Kicker Rock tour;
Grateful for my shore leave but feeling a tad guilty as well as I left John and Irene to the refuelling nightmare, I joined the 30 or so other yachties on the Kicker Rock tour, at 8.30am. Our catamaran headed first for a sheltered bay where we motored close to rocks and saw sea lions sunbathing, blue footed boobies nesting, large red Sally Lightfoot crabs, and frigate birds soaring overhead. Then we jumped into the 25deg water and swam with sea lions.
Everyone back on board, we up anchored, and headed for Kicker Rock, one of the Galapagos's most famous landmarks, a vertical volcanic rock standing 146metres high, a short distance from the coast. There's a narrow split through the rock, through which the sea surges and churns. Very dramatic, I was all ready to take photos then realised we were expected to snorkel through that! It took a while to pluck up courage but I'm so glad I did. I saw 3 hammerhead sharks, 5 or so Galapagos sharks (around 1m each), a family of sting rays circling sinisterly beneath us, thick shoals of reef fish, and more turtles. All in all an adrenalin packed snorkelling experience.
On the way home we returned to the first bay, the tide was now out and the water clear and turquoise. Everyone had a last snorkel, then got back on board and we headed for home. Then the guide did a head count, and a re-count, looked in both heads, then realised we were missing one person. 10mins later we were back in the bay where we found the lone Italian still swimming, picked him up, and headed home! A memorable day.
Drums stacked on deck to be siphoned into the yacht.
Filling the fuel bladder. Just after this shot was taken Joseph
covered me with diesel!