For many a visit to the Galapagos archipelago is on their dream bucket list so those with a lifetime ambition to sail here in their own boat it really is a dream come true when they make landfall on the islands.
What they didn’t expect was to gain a few extra crew on the journey!
Causing much entertainment and even a day off from homeschooling 3 Red Footed Boobies hitched a ride on family boat Kaizen. They stayed with the boat for a good 135 NM even flying off to catch food and return for a rest gaining a few extra free miles while they took a nap.
Another family boat on this year’s rally, Peal, also had a similar experience. They gained 5 extra red footed crew members who at one stage during a rain storm all huddled together. The picture below was taken by Lillian and her sister Lauren named him Billy-Bop. As cute and entertaining as they can be it was skipper Tom Pedley who has had previous experience with theses stowaways and the nasty marks they leave so they were soon encouraged to move on.
Three currents meet in Galapagos, the cold Cromwell from the west, the cold Humboldt from the south east and the warm Panama current from the north which produces enriched waters and home to many marine spices some of which are only found in these waters, such as the Galapagos Shark, Golden Rays and small temperate Penguins. With such a large array of marine life this in turn provides plenty of food to sustain some of the world’s most unique and rare land animals and birdlife. Sea iguanas can be seen sunbathing on the pathways, rocks and beaches and giant tortoise are a regular sight on each island. Sea lions can also be found on almost every shoreline but they are in abundance on the island of San Cristobal. This is the island where the fleet make landfall and there is always a challenge to keep the sea lions from jumping on the decks.
97% of the entire archipelago terrain is protected by national parkland. Covering a surface area of 8,010 sq km the archipelago comprises of 19 principal islands of which only 4 are inhabited with a population of around 30,000 residents. San Cristobal is the administrative capital, Santa Cruz is the economic epicenter and the most populated island, Isabela is the largest land mass and is shaped like a seahorse with six big volcanoes. Floreana makes up the fourth populated island but only has a very small human population of around 150 people.
After completing their check-in process in Puerto Baquerizo on San Cristobal World ARC yachts have the opportunity to visit a further 2 of these inhabited islands, Isabela and Santa Cruz in their yachts. Prior to heading out to explore these islands there is the opportunity to go on an organised tour of the highlands on San Cristobal. This is a half day tour organized by World Cruising Club which includes a visit to the Giant Tourtoise Breeding Centre, ‘El Junco’ a crater lagoon (the archipelago’s only sweet water lake) and a trip to an isolated white sand beach in the east of the island called ‘Puerto Chino’.
The fleet with then meet up in Santa Cruz towards the end of February where they will start to prepare for their onward journey while enjoying the small town of Puerto Ayora.