Slow Boat to Marquesas; Galapagos Part II. 06:01:55S 97:13:16W
It has been an interesting albeit, at times frustrating, 24
hours since the last Blog entry. We spent around 2 to 3 hours “playing”
with the Gennaker (asymmetric, AKA Cruising Chute) after we had hoisted it at
0930 local time (1630 UTC) yesterday. Despite our best efforts, we could
not get it to settle in the fluky wind and rolling sea we were enjoying so
much. Which was a shame because it is usually ideal in light winds, on a broad
reach. Especially in the brilliant sunshine we were having. So it was no
real hardship to put it away and stow it below decks once the rain came along around
lunchtime. So it was back to motor sailing. Until that is the next squall came
thru’. We then set the
Three interesting events happened over the last 24 hours. Firstly, the Navigation system has worked almost constantly, with only two drop outs of the wind pilot. “Hurray” say the crew of Zipadedoda! Having looked more closely at the Mast Head unit, it looks like the cups on the anemometer are not free flowing in these light airs and I suspect the bearings are worn. But for now they are behaving and we are enjoying the results. Next, I switched on the radio this evening, intending to listen to some music over (a wonderful ) dinner from the iPOD. (Point of order here. Dinner was provided by the crew, not the iPOD). Much to my amazement, the CD player kicked into life with Beverly Knight crooning away. That was great, especially as the CD Changer jammed last July, with Jessica’s favourite CD in it and it has not worked since! Ah, but boat life does move in mysterious ways………………..
The third incident was a little more scary. Jennie and I
were doing the crew briefing prior to my going off watch for a well earned
rest. I had just pointed out our course and current speed, with a view to
discussing tactics overnight, when the SOG suddenly dropped from 6knots to
1.9knots. My immediate response was that the B&G Nav system had gone on the
blink. But on closer inspection the BTW was 1.8 knots and we had 14knots of
true wind speed on the beam with a full Main and
Meanwhile, back in
The seascapes on this craggy Island are very dramatic, with
the Pacific Ocean waves pounding the Basalt boulders on the
On some of the beaches we were also treated to a view of the local surfing community. Not your wet suited variety, but surfing Sea Lions. They put up a wonderful show of skills and sometimes surf right up to beach. But never when you have a camera handy! That said it is such an entertaining spectacle, you tend to forget about the camera and just want to enjoy the moment.
The bird life on this island is truly abundant, especially in February and early March, which the prime breeding season. It is a twitches paradise!
The Galapagos is famous (for amongst other things) for the
Boobies. These are Gannet like birds, only bigger, and much more
To watch these birds fishing is breath taking, as massed ranks of them plunge unto the ocean from on high. Then vanish under the clear blue water to depths of several feet in pursuit of their prey. Only to bob up to the surface once again, shake themselves down and then enjoy a light meal, followed by an elegant take off to climb steeply up once again ready for the next sortie.
In amongst these great fishing birds, fly the infamous Frigate Birds. Or as the locals call them . “Pirate” birds. They never land on the water, as their plumage does not have sufficient natural oils in it to stop it becoming water logged. So they rely on scavenging and bullying other birds into dropping their catch. This they then pick up off the surface whilst in flight, by using their pointed, hooked beak. There is no question of honour amongst thieves with these creatures, Once food is about they will put on the most dazzling aerial displays to harry any other bird into dropping its catch or swag until the food is consumed.
Unlike Boobies, Frigate birds nest off the ground in low
bushes and trees or scrub. The mail birds are famous for there courting
displays with there inflatable red breast pouch. But you will have to wait to
see those pictures from another
The other “wildlife” on
The lesser spotted
Needless to say we all had a good laugh at this enterprise, and did not allow the nasty bitie, flying thingies to spoil the day.
So we then returned to Angelito for showers, pre-dinner drinks and another feast.
This was followed by a gentle stroll around the upper decks to marvel at the stars….The Southern Cross was spectacular. BUT, the Galapagos wild life was not yet ready for bed.
As we gazed over the sides of the boat, the lights from the saloon and the adjacent kitchens had attracted a lot of (more) flying bugs and moths. This in turn attracted flying fish. These in turn were hunted down by the sea lions lurking under the hull of the boat. These large water mammals can move at a shockingly fast pace over a short distance from a standing start. I guess food is a great motivator. For those flying fish that escaped the Sea Lions, the omnipresent Pelicans were on hand to mop up the stragglers and they were crashing into the water all around us. Then the lights were turned off…………the show was over. So it was time for bed. Just as well because we were all “cream crackered”, and it was 9pm after all!! Whey past our bed times……………………..