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25/02/2014

American Spirit II - Day 50; Swimming with Sea Turtles & Penguins; Saturday, February 22, 2014

I woke up at 4:00 AM and headed down to the aft section of the main deck, where the restaurant is, to type up Day 49's log. At 5:59 AM we reached our destination and dropped anchor. We were anchored in front of a giant L-shaped cliff face called Vicente Roca Point, part of Isabella Island. Breakfast was at 7:00 AM and consisted of ham, toast, fruit and yogurt. We took a ride in the panga's (dinghies)to look, primarily, at the birds on the cliff face. We saw Frigates, Blue Footed Boobies,Brown Pelicans, Galapagos Penguins and Flightless Cormorants. The Frigate bird, also called the 'man of war bird' because of its piratical nature,is unusual in that the female is larger than the male. Its 'piratical nature' has to do with its method of catching fish. Besides scooping fish off of the. read more...


25/02/2014

American Spirit II - Day 49; Swimming with Sea Lions & 5 Day M/V Fragata Cruise; Friday, February 21, 2014

I apologize for not getting this log and the 4 following it to you sooner. The reason for the delay is that for 5 days were have been nowhere near Wifi or the internet to send these logs. The day started early. Janet and I were starting a 5 day cruise aboard the M/V Fragata. More on that later.We got up at 6:30 AM because we had to meet at the public dock at 7:30 AM for the start of our process of getting to our cruise vessel located at Baltra Island. After boarding a bus, along with crew from Nexus, Hebe and Polaris (other boats in our Rally); we departed for the northern part of Santa Cruz Island. We arrived at a ferry crossing 45 minutes later, whereupon our luggage was transferred to the ferry. After boarding the ferry, we waited for it to 'fill up.' The stated passenger limit of. read more...


25/02/2014

Firefly - Firefly on Isabela 25/02

Firefly has been anchored at Puerto Vilamil, Isabela for 6 nights. We have been unable to move anywhere else as explained in earlier blogs, however, the anchorage was so beautiful it was a great place to be based for numerous shore based excursions. The highlight for the crew was a 'special' day trip by Panga (fast motor boat with a small cabin) to the west of the island. Local tour organiser, Paco, had come up with this new tour to satisfy the yachting folk that visit Isabela - the reason being that generally they want to and are prepared to go on longer trips, despite the discomfort of the small fast boats.We ventured into real 'David Attenborough' territory with our guide telling us that very few tourists ever get to see this particular area. To the west of the island there is the. read more...


25/02/2014

Free & BrEasy - Storms on Seas of Larva

The big news is that Roger obtained his Padi Open Water certificate in double quick time. Thanks to Shay at Wreck Dive on Santa Cristobel for his excellent instruction and well done Roger for pots of studying. Life at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno was wonderful with a great sea front and harbour, restaurants and walks (or runs if your prefer) round the peninsula, but it was time to go. On the last day (Thursday 20th February) we spent time taking in the information in the Visitors Centre. There was plenty of detail on the geology, flora and fauna, ending up with the impact of humans on the Galapagos. Sad to say we were reminded of man's willingness to exploit the wildlife reserves with tortoise oil being used to keep the street lamps burning at one time! Also man's cruelty to each other was. read more...


23/02/2014

Firefly - Firefly on Isabela

Firefly arrived in Isabela on Tuesday after an excellent sail 45nm from Santa Cruz. The forecast was for little wind so we felt very lucky to have 12 knots from the South East and as usual the weather was perfect. While Peter is off on an organised tour we have a new crew. Barney and Juanita have joined us for a weeks visit to Isabela, the largest island in the Galapagos Archipelago. The island is off to the West and is geologically one of the youngest with a number of volcanoes that are still classified as active. In the World ARC cruising notes the anchorage at Port Villamil is noted as being the 'jewel' of the Galapagos. It certainly is - surrounded by a reef which breaks the rolling swell so that its relatively calm for the yachts, with beaches of white sand and beautiful aquamarine. read more...


Celebrate - Equator Crossing on Celebrate!
Celebrate - Equator Crossing on Celebrate!
21/02/2014

Celebrate - Sharks, Turtles and Rays (Oh My!)

It was a spectacular scuba trip to Gordon Rocks with two excellent dives.The rocks rise directly from about 100' depth so it's a wall dive and is open directly to ocean swell and currents.The appearance of a school of hammerhead sharks was accompanied by a flukey-current blast of ice-water which made the visibility shimmer.These currents are what make for stunning Galapagos diving by bringing deep water nutrients to the Islands.Also, I got an up-close view of a large sea-turtle that swam away into a dead-end crevice in the rock wall and then had to spend time getting turned around so he could leave. It was very interesting to watch. The dive was topped off with a school of rays as well as a huge variety of reef-fish.Charlie. read more...


American Spirit II - David & Paul Fox Panama Canal Transit
American Spirit II - David & Paul Fox Panama Canal Transit
American Spirit II - Panama City with Crew
American Spirit II - Panama City with Crew
20/02/2014

Celebrate - Pelicans, Pelicans in Puerto Ayora at Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos

What a colorful and interesting port city with the Charles Darwin Research Station very nearby.We are anchored in Academy Bay right off Puerto Ayora with a stern and bow anchor this time behind S/V Caduceus and with S/V Nexus next to us.Plenty of pelicans plunging for fish right off our boat!We were excited to hear that our cousins from New York City, Leon and Dixie, were staying at a close by hotel and could meet us for dinner.They picked out a fun Italian restaurant, II Giardino.Soon, Russ, Laurie, Sheldon and Vanessa of Nexus appeared at the next table with their guests from San Diego, John and Lorie.Also, we visited with a National Geographic Group Tour that was heading up to the highlands.So much to see and learn in the Galapagos!Charlie and I will miss Joel of the World ARC Rally. read more...


20/02/2014

American Spirit II - Day 47; Day Tour Isla Santa Cruz; Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Up at 7:00 AM, looking for a boat that is supposed to pick up our garbage. No such luck. Not sure such a boat exists. At 8:30 AM we took a water taxi, cost $.60 per person before 7:00 PM and $1.00 per person after 7:00 PM. The watertaxi's at Santa Cruz were longer and capable of handling larger seas and seating more people than the water taxi's atSan Cristobal. Our tour started at 9:15 AM, when we boarded a taxi. There were 8 of us in the tour. 2 taxi's and one guide riding in the other taxis. Our first stop was the Chato Turtle Reserve, a private ranch were giant tortoises roamed free. We drove around and saw a fair number, then stopped by a lake (really, a small pond), where we saw a male and female in the water. The male, according to our guide, was 120 years old; and the female. read more...


20/02/2014

American Spirit II - Day 46; Motor Sail to Santa Cruz Island; Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sometime in the middle of the night, I heard a commotion in the cockpit and when I climbed the steps and peered out I observed a large seal lion sitting on one of our recliner chairs in the cockpit. He had knocked down a container of pringles and a cup. When I say 'sitting' I mean sitting, now lying on it, sitting on it hike a person would. It was quite comical. When he saw me he turned and flew thru the starboard life lines and into the water. This event could have easily been a serious problem because when I went to sleep Monday night, I forgot to close the two doors to the downstairs cabin. If the sea lion had wanted to, he could have slid down the stairs into the boat's main salon down below. If that had happened we would have had a difficult time 'capturing' him and ejecting him. read more...


20/02/2014

American Spirit II - Da;y 45; Land Tour of San Cristobal; Monday, February 17, 2014

Awakened at 5:45 AM by a 'domestic' sea lion linguistic event. A sea lion was lying on our transom, and and another one had hopped up and was verbally trying to get the other one to leave. When I confronted him, he was 'standing up' looking at me thru the aft lifeline. He snorted and hopped overboard. Problem solved. Back to bed. Got up at 8:00 AM and observed 2 sea lions laying on transom, snug as can be. An adult and a juvenile. When they saw us, they would raise their head to look, then close their eyes and go back to sleep. We took a land tour from 10:15 AM - 1:30 PM with Carlos. We went first to Laguna el Junco, a small lake that is 650 meters in elevation and is actually a lake or lagoon inside of an extinct volcanic crater or caldera. When we got there visibility was almost zero,. read more...


17/02/2014

Free & BrEasy - Extraordinary Galapagos

We crept into Wreck Bay, Puerto Moreno, San Cristobal around 8am on Thursday 13th February just in time for Valentine's day. The silence when the engines were turned off was beautiful after 3 days and nights motoring. During the previous night it was strange to see the volcanic land mass slowly emerge from the darkness. As morning twilight occurred, we passed Sleeping Lion Rock which is a 100m stack rising vertically from the sea bed and where we would return!Up went the yellow quarantine flag and we waited patiently for customs and what was the first of three invasions. When customs came, they came in quantity. We were invaded by 8 officials who all had separate paper forms to complete, questions to be answered and parts of the boat to look at, not including the diver who inspected the. read more...


Flomaida II - Sieht doch sehr freundlich aus?
Flomaida II - Sieht doch sehr freundlich aus?
Flomaida II - Unter Wasser sind sie schöner anzuschauen
Flomaida II - Unter Wasser sind sie schöner anzuschauen
Flomaida II - Selbst Schildkröten genießen ein kühles Bad!
Flomaida II - Selbst Schildkröten genießen ein kühles Bad!
16/02/2014

BriZo - A very unique species found in Galapagos - Saturday 16th February 2014

Aside from the blue footed booby and a host of otherunique wildlife in Galapagos, it has a very unique species of Bureaucrat.Isolated out here, they have developed an exquisite blend of characteristicsthat sets them apart from Bureaucrats elsewhere in the world. Their prey isalmost uniquely on Eco-tourists such as ourselves, seeking them out at theearliest opportunity. Hunting in packs of sometimes as many as 12 at a time theyswoop in on incoming yachtsman before they even have time to set foot on land.Attracted by the Yellow Q flag that visiting yachtsman are internationallyobliged to fly as they enter a new country, they are on-board before the victimknows it. Their prey tries in vain to fend them off, handing out money for thisand that but they don’t let up and continue to raid the. read more...


16/02/2014

American Spirit II - Day 44; Swimming with Hammerhead Sharks; Sunday, February 16, 2914

Up at 6:30 AM, for we had a trip to Kicker Rock, AKA Roca Pateadora. But first we were bussed to a beach, where we snorkeled amongst rocks and lots of fish,and saw two large turtles swimming. Our guide explained to us the difference between Sea Lions and Seals. Seal Lions have small ears and Seals have no visible ears; and their upper flippers are very strong, allowing them to go vertical more than a meter to climb up on rocks, boats, piers, etc. Seals don't have that upper body strength.After leaving the beach, we headed back to the pier where we boarded a boat and headed to Kicker Rock. Once at Kicker Rock we all got in the water to snorkel. Kicker Rock is a large imposing 'rock', with two channels cut between the rocks. We were going to snorkel thru one of the channels, the larger. read more...


16/02/2014

Celebrate - Spectacular Sharks at Kicker Rock , Giant Torrtoises, a Volcano and a Grand Treehouse!

What an experience! After a great boat ride to the gap of famous Kicker Rock we were up close and personal snorkeling with groups of sharks and eagle rays. A nice lunch was served and then we were off to a close-by beach for swimming and bird watching. What fun!We took the best taxi tour of our lives with Carlos the previous day to see a preserve of Giant Tortoises (they are big!), visited a volcano that now holds drinking water for the community of 8,000 people and a very grand treehouse in an ancient cottonwood tree. Entering the treehouse is very exciting on a wooden stick bridge high in the air. I have the photos to prove it! CathyNext...Santa Cruz Island.. read more...


Flomaida II - Ihr gehts offensichtlich gut!
Flomaida II - Ihr gehts offensichtlich gut!
Flomaida II - Ist das wirklich der älteste Baum der Welt hier in San Cristobal???
Flomaida II - Ist das wirklich der älteste Baum der Welt hier in San Cristobal???
16/02/2014

Firefly - Galapagos adventure - swimming with sharks!

In terms of wildlife, the first three days on the islands have lived up to our expectations; we have seen some spectacular sights and enjoyed spotting a wide range of marine and bird life. The level of Galapagos National Park 'red tape' has been as expected and we are quite limited in terms of our movements. We had a visit by 10 officials the morning after arrival, with the inspection and controls logical but not always administered sensibly. Out of the blue, half of the World ARC fleet have been deemed to be too fouled (weed on the hull) and are currently under going significant activities to resolve the issues. Luckily Firefly has been deemed clean (we anticipate that on other blogs on this site more details will be provided). We arrived at San Cristobal Island at sunset after a cruise. read more...


Flomaida II - Eine fröhliche Männerrunde beim Schnupftabac am Hafen von San Cristobal
Flomaida II - Eine fröhliche Männerrunde beim Schnupftabac am Hafen von San Cristobal
Flomaida II - Manchmal ist es auch für Schildkröten zu heiß
Flomaida II - Manchmal ist es auch für Schildkröten zu heiß
Flomaida II - Friedliches Miteinander
Flomaida II - Friedliches Miteinander
Flomaida II - Luftige Behausung
Flomaida II - Luftige Behausung
Flomaida II - Willkommen auf Galapagos
Flomaida II - Willkommen auf Galapagos
Flomaida II - Das Mittagessen wird schon vorbereitet
Flomaida II - Das Mittagessen wird schon vorbereitet
Flomaida II - Gerade mal 4 Wochen
Flomaida II - Gerade mal 4 Wochen
Flomaida II - Jeder Teller wird von Hand gefertigt
Flomaida II - Jeder Teller wird von Hand gefertigt
Flomaida II - Codenummer vergessen hahaha in la Playiata/Panama
Flomaida II - Codenummer vergessen hahaha in la Playiata/Panama
Flomaida II - 2 Monate und schon recht fit!
Flomaida II - 2 Monate und schon recht fit!
Flomaida II - Isla Las Perlas, Christoph auf dem Weg zum Internet ins Hotel Romantico
Flomaida II - Isla Las Perlas, Christoph auf dem Weg zum Internet ins Hotel Romantico
Flomaida II - Unser AIS funktioniert endlich, Wir sind begeistert!
Flomaida II - Unser AIS funktioniert endlich, Wir sind begeistert!
Flomaida II - Zutrauliche Wasserschildkröten
Flomaida II - Zutrauliche Wasserschildkröten
Flomaida II - Einkauf auf dem Großmarkt in Panama
Flomaida II - Einkauf auf dem Großmarkt in Panama
Flomaida II - Nachmittagsschläfchen
Flomaida II - Nachmittagsschläfchen
Flomaida II - Natur pur
Flomaida II - Natur pur
Flomaida II - Michelada und die Flomaida vor Augen
Flomaida II - Michelada und die Flomaida vor Augen
Flomaida II - Joel von Rally Control auf San Cristobal/Galapagos
Flomaida II - Joel von Rally Control auf San Cristobal/Galapagos
Flomaida II - Wie die Zeit vergeht
Flomaida II - Wie die Zeit vergeht
Flomaida II - Kinder der Welt
Flomaida II - Kinder der Welt
Flomaida II - Mal kein Segelboot
Flomaida II - Mal kein Segelboot
Flomaida II - Sport in der Abendstunde
Flomaida II - Sport in der Abendstunde
Flomaida II - Skyeline von Panama
Flomaida II - Skyeline von Panama
Flomaida II - Willkommen im Dorf
Flomaida II - Willkommen im Dorf
Flomaida II - Alles Handarbeit, auch ihr "Kleid"
Flomaida II - Alles Handarbeit, auch ihr
Flomaida II - Unberührte Natur
Flomaida II - Unberührte Natur
Flomaida II - Den gibts nur auf San Cristobal
Flomaida II - Den gibts nur auf San Cristobal