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Walkabout - Walkabout has left The Galapagos xxx

Hi everyone and especially to mum who I know is avidly reading these mails and a quick hello to you to say that all is well and I love you xx

Also a special hello to Ingaborg our neighbour in Noss who has just had a hip operation today, we are thinking of you and wishing you a speedy recovery xx

A quick update as we set off from Santa Cruz, Galapagos today at 1330, half an hour later than planned due immigration checks all boats have to go through. Thankfully they weren’t as rigorous as the arrival checks and we were boarded by 5 officials to ensure we weren’t smuggling any iguanas or penguins! ;)

We have over 3000nm to our next destination of Hiva Oa in French Polynesia. This should take us between 20 and 24 days - depending on the wind… We are currently moving through the fleet of boats with our big blue G1 sail up and have averaged 7knots which is a great start. Especially when the forecast had us down as motoring for the first two days before we find some wind.
Tom is especally looking forward to getting the fishing lines out and catching something yummy for supper. Failing that, we have a back-up of spaghetti bolognaise, so we won’t be going hungry.

The sun is getting lower with the time being 1715 as I write this email. Our first night at sea after what has been an incredible time in Galapagos.

We have all loved our time on the three islands of San Cristobal, Santa Cruz and our ferry trip to Isabela, where we spent a few days exploring. We also went on a snorkelling trip to Pinzon Island to swim with sharks and an abundance of colourful fish, including the huge Parrot fish and seals.

Its been incredible seeing the harmony between animal and human, none of the animals are afraid of us and continue on their way while we stand and stare in amazement at being so very close!

Seal lions are so such fun! You have to step over them as you came ashore from the water-taxi as they line the steps while the young swim around and up and down playing in the clear water. They literally covered the pontoons and bench seats snorting and barking, they also use the zebra-crossing while going from one beach to the next amongst the cars and bikes. We all swam with them on San Cristobal and Santa Cruz, a absolute highlight!

The Marine Iguana has been a highlight for me, with my nephews Oli and Henry who have a pet bearded lizard in Australia (not sure exactly what Rex is!). Excuse my ignorance boys! They would have loved to have seen the marine iguanas leisurely swimming using only their tails, so relaxed and smooth, another incredible sight we shall never forget! There were literally 100s of them soaking up the rays while lounging on the sand in groups all facing the sun.

We have also ticked the giant tortoise box. There were many in the wild as we cycled on Isabela, not always easy to spot but once you have your eye-in they are everywhere. Some being as large as a big coffee table you might have in your lounge room! They are such pre-historic looking creatures and the babies are oh so cute!

The place is swarming in tiny guecko’s darting away from you as you walk up behind them on the footpaths.

We will be keeping in touch with daily emails whilst at sea, and have agreed to rotate the writing to keep you up to date on our progress.
As of tomorrow, there will be news on the fishing club, baking and cooking club, musical society, fitness club and meteorological society and more.

Lots of love from all of us as we watch the sun go down on our first evening of many!
Wow what an adventure!


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