Pacific crossing 02:05.5S 92:27.4W
Alan Franklin/Lynne Gane
Wed 8 Apr 2015 16:52
Dear Family and Friends,
8th April 2015
We have waved goodbye to the Galapagos Islands yesterday. Following a night of being thrown around in heavy swell and rain, a heavily overcast morning was pleasantly fresh. With one last chore ashore, we had some difficulty in getting into the dingy at the stern as the boat was lifting 2-3’ in the swell and the dingy was slamming into the boat. Disturbing the sea lions lounging on the dingy dock and in the dingies themselves one last time, our eye level contact was too much and one flounced off with a loud grumble, we left Puerto Ayora.
We had some nervous moments getting the outboard engine back on board as there is a considerable weight swinging on the davit, to be sure we tied a second rope on too. Happily a difficult operation went smoothly. Hauling the dingy on board we realised that the hull was as dirty as anywhere we have been, despite all the regulations about safe disposal of waste. Mmmm you do wonder when you see the water taxis flying about the harbour belching black smoke and the tour boat crews throwing their own organic waste into the sea, one rule.....
We had reasonable winds and sailed to the south of Isla Isabella, south of Isla Tortuga, a crescent shape caldera, flooded by the sea and to the north of Isla Saint Marie. You could make out the outlines of some of the five volcanoes on Isabella. Like Santa Cruz, most of the island is a national park, (over 90% on Santa Cruz), the towns and agriculture areas strictly limited. Isabella is drier than Santa Cruz but all inhabited islands do have some locally grown fruit and vegetables. The government of Ecuador has made great strides to protect and promote this unique environment and most of this is a success story. Tourism is the main industry, there is a measure of affluence in the islands, tourist guides we met are committed to giving visitors a good experience, however we also met a measure of complacency in poor service and that is a shame.
Now we are motoring trying to make 3 or 4 degrees south and hopefully pick up the trade winds blowing from the east. Our next stop is Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas, by all accounts a spectacular island, this is just over 3,000 NM away. So 20+ days of sea and sky! We were let down by the agent in Puerto Ayora, who did not get us a final fuel top up so we must sail at least 75% of the way but Galapagos is in the Doldrums. Whether to switch the engine on will be a constant difficult choice.
Last night was lovely, an orange moon appeared slowly fading to white as it rose, lighting the white sea birds circling the boat much of the night. Apart from a few cruise boats off the south coast of Isabella last night, we don’t expect to see another soul until closer to land again.
That’s all the news for the moment. All our best,
Lynne and Alan