Shepherd Moon - Stowaways
In the early hours of this morning we finally arrived in the Galapagos and now we are leaving them again. Despite having Shepherd Moon lifted out of the water in Shelter Bay and pressure washed, and then checked again while we were in Las Perlas (albeit through murky green waters) we have acquired a few baby barnacles during our 1,000 mile transit from Las Perlas to the Galapagos. I had meant to check the bottom before we arrived, but the last couple of days haven't played out in the quite the way we expected. The net result is that the barnacle police have told us (and the other two boats they checked today) to go 40 miles offshore to clean off the offending crustaceans, and then return to the anchorage for a further inspection. Oh well, it's a nice day for a sail.
The trip down to the Galapagos involved crossing the doldrums - the area straddling the equator and sitting between the northeast and southeast trades. Winds in the doldrums are typically light, with frequent squalls bringing extended periods of rain. All in all, pretty miserable sailing weather. We experienced both of these aspects. We had enough rain to discover that a couple of hatches are still prone to leaking, and we ended up motoring for over 50 hours during the course of the week because the wind died away to a mere zephyr. On the plus side, we did fly the Blue Water Runner for an extended period and it behaved impeccably; no broken halyards, no wild leaps into the sea.
Unfortunately, we were the last boat in the fleet to arrive (at least of those that set off at the same time. In fact one boat that left two days after us were just 30 miles behind by the time we closed the islands). I blame this tardiness on Shepherd Moon's more traditional lines compared to the more modern, sleeker designs of the majority of the fleet. Vanessa and Jacob, however, hold me solely responsible. Blaming my choice of strategy (head south until the wind stops and then turn right - all very scientific) on our late arrival. I have noticed a bit of boat envy creeping in amongst the crew. We have been invited on-board a couple of catamarans over the past few weeks and I have noticed Vanessa gazing longingly at the huge galleys, with microwaves, bread makers and coffee machines sitting happily on work tops rather than being lashed down or hidden away. As we were eating the obligatory pancakes on Shrove Tuesday (beautifully tossed, despite the heavy swell), I asked Vanessa what she was planning to give up for lent. Without a moments hesitation she said "Mono-hulls!"
At 15/02/2018 14:59 (utc) our position was 00°12.60'N 087°55.20'W