Starblazer - 14-02-2014. Galapagos
We arrived at about 0930 Panama time on Thursday morning, 0830 Galapagos time, then had to wait for our 'environmental hazard inspection' . This involved 8 people coming on board plus a diver taking photos of the underwater area.We passed the internal inspection which included asking about our procedures for dealing with rubbish, maintenance, oil spills etc.Unfortunately we learned today that we failed the underwater inspection, along with many other boats.Something is adhering to our hull which is deemed a risk to the Galapagos, most infuriating given we had a lift out and scrub off in St Lucia two days before we left in January.Rally Control has worked hard to find a solution.We will sail if there is any wind (motor if we have enough fuel) around the island to an agreed position 40. read more...
American Spirit II - Day 43; Janet Fox Arrives!; Saturday, February 15, 2014
Up early. Another sea lion on the boat transom. He jumped off once he heard me afoot. Left for the airport at 9:00 AM to meet Janet's plane from mainland Ecuador. She had been traveling since 3:30 PM the day before and had spent Thursday night in the airport in Guayahill (a city on the coast. I know the spelling is wrong). In texting Janet, she indicated that she was in queuing hell, and didn't know if she'd get done in time to make the flight. If you've never stood in lines in South American airports, you haven't lived! Her plane touched down close to on time, and then Janet was back in a que again. In order to make sure that Janet didn't miss me at the airport exit, I held a sign that said 'Janet Fox.' When in Rome... And I use the term 'airport exit' loosely. Its a set of double doors. read more...
Celebrate - Log Day 33 - Sea Lions Galore at San Cristobal, Galapagos
The sound of barking sea lions filled our ears as we anchored in pretty Puerto Baquerizo at the Island of San Cristobal. Soon with an extravaganza of Spanish speaking officials and two wonderful World ARC agents translating, Ricardo & Yvonne, plus divers to examine our boat's hull we were cleared into Ecuadorian Galapagos in short order. A waiting water taxi took us into shore and we walked to the charming Miconia Hotel's upstairs open-air restaurant complete with beautiful bay view for a Rally "happy hour". After two Cuba Libre's and an outstanding dinner of mixed seafood barbecue "doubled" on our table grill we really felt "happy".In the twinkle of anchor lights and the glow of shore lights we arrived back at CELEBRATE in what looked like a fairy land. What a great day!CathyNext,. read more...
American Spirit II - Day 42; Valentine's Day & Swimming with Turtles; Friday, February 14, 2014
Up at 5:30 AM. Sea lion still on transom. Looked up at me. Luckily we had blocked access to the cockpit with a recliner, or this sea lioncould have ended up in our cockpit. That would have been challenging to get rid of him then. About 10:00 AM we boarded a water taxi into town, then walked a mile or so to an 'interpretation' center, where the history of the Galapagos was adequately explained by pictures and wall charts. After that we made our way to a beach, where we snorkeled. The underwater topography was rocky with many fish. The water temperature was 82 degrees. While snorkeling, we came upon 2 large turtles, one with a 4 foot in diameter shell and another 2 1/2 feet. The larger turtle stopped me from following him by turning around and forcing me to retreat. Later we observed him. read more...