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Date: 10 Apr 2015 00:45:00
Title: Galapagos Arrival

00:53:73S 089:36:7W
 
Arrival at:
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands
 
Quick Clean
Yesterday afternoon, we stopped to give the hull a final scub. It must be clean we thought we hadn’t gone slow enough for anything to attach itself. Wrong! Goose barnacles had already begun to form on the hull. Thank goodness, Robert and had volunteered to go and check. Bottom cleaned, David jumped in too. I remained on shark watch. Once they were all out I went for a swim. Just as I got out a large fin surfaced 10 metres from WD, I was relieved to see the reassuring sight of a spout of water come shooting up from the Minke whale’s spout. We had al been making such a noise, she had come to see what the fuss was all about.
 
Squalls
Last night we were hit by a series of squalls, the wind going through 180 degrees each time. Safety inspection the next morning showed a cack in the mast kicking strap loop welded fixing and a main sheet fitting ripping out of the aluminium boom. We have identified a local welder whose workshop work indicates he is looks capable of the repairs. We delivered the boom to him and are currently awaiting a welder on board to fix the kicker/vang fitting in situ.
 
Fumigation
Having bought a duff certificate in Panama...”What,” Our agent said. “You actually wanted a fumigation? That costs US$ 150, I’ve only charged you US$ 90 for a certificate. It is too late to organise now!” The Galpagos looked disparagingly at the certificate. It did not identify the chemical used or what they were treating. Treatment was required for mosquito, cockroaches and spiders. We also needed the toilet sprayed for plague! Oh well, now we know we are clean, that’s a relief!
 
Eight Officials – Officially Squeeze aboard WD
Our agent in Galapagos Steven Villegas arrived with seven officials, inc. Customs, Immigration, Army, Navy, Diver plus their boss and one other hanger on. They all sat with us in and around the cockpit – cosy! They asked were we were going, why we were here and where we had been. WD showed off her beautiful bottom to the diver, who gave his approval. They made a cursory search, Robert felt the need to tell them they had missed my cabin. Our three bins, recycling, biodegradable and Trash were photographed, including the contents. They didn’t inspect toilet or holding tank, or even mention them. Our fridge contents were inspected. “Do you have any meat?” Asked they lady who had just thumbed through the bacon and sausages with me. “Oh no!” I jokingly said. “Fridge contents alright then.” She said. She was not so happy with our oranges, which she couldn’t wait to have us squeeze, so she could remove the fleshly parts from our boat. In the event, she left them behind. Next a very large chap, who had decided he could fit below in WD wanted to see and photograph our cleaning products, we selected our green variety, Ecover Toilet Cleaner and biodegradable washing-up liquid. He was delighted with these. We parted on best of terms, they were a happy bunch, cajoled by Robert and Ken in excellent Spanish.
 
Not So Eco-Friendly Galapagos
Having experienced so meticulous an inspection of WD, we were somewhat shocked to find that the locals apparently have no regard for the environment. Litter adorns the streets, abundant plastic bottles under bushes/scrubs, and rolling down the road. Squashed cans in the gutter, bins over flowing and no recycling – despite this being insisted on with WD....but no where to put it ashore, but the tiny overflowing bins, which end up as landfill. This was not the Galapagos we had expected. No co-ordinated sanitation scheme, so much so that many islands have contaminated their own ground water. To top it all I discover the Giant Tortoise Lonesome George died last year... I had hoped to visit and make him Not So Lonesome George.
 
Marisa Arrives
Penny had a change of heart and decided that perhaps she would rather meet me for longer in the summer in Fiji rather than Galapagos.  Robert’s wife, Marisa, fruit cake in hand, was watching WD and her visitors from the hotel. It had a harbour side location. As we came ashore she was there with a big grin to welcome us...the water taxi cost US$1 each not too bad. We had travelled 966 miles in ten days in light winds, not too bad with adverse currents. We celebrated by taking turns in Marisa and Roberts hotel shower....after a celebratory beer of course.
 
Things the Pilot got wrong:
Fuel is available US$ 1.05; Potable Water is available US$3 / 20 Litres; Fresh food supplies are available; The anchorage is safe and secure, in fact theft is very rare; The officials were friendly, polite and courteous.

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