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World ARC 2019-20 Reaching the Galapagos

The Galápagos Islands are probably on most people’s lifetime bucket list of places to visit. Being such a remote location it is a challenge to visit by air so the efforts of skippers and their crews reaching these set of islands under sail is no small feat.

As one of the more popular destinations on the World ARC itinerary, there is certainly an overall feeling of great achievement and excitement amongst the participants of World ARC 2019-20 to have reached this unique and special place.

Nearly into their third month together and well into the routine of the rally, strong bonds and firm friendships have formed amongst the fleet. Sharing skills, knowledge and experience has been a huge benefit when challenges arise. As any boat owner will recognise, there is always a continuous ‘to-do’ list on board whatever the age, size and shape of vessel.

Patrik Hes, skipper and owner of Mango, a Lagoon 50, said “the Galapagos has been the highlight of our trip so far and it’s absolutely phenomenal to be here. It felt like a big achievement reaching Colombia but now we have travelled through the Panama Canal and reached these incredible islands it feels like we are now truly on our way around the world. We are looking forward to cruising around the French Polynesia next, the boat is ready and so are we.”

He also added “it has been great to share the experience and knowledge between the fleet. We also recognise the efforts going on in the background to enable us to just turn up at each location and be advised of timings and what to do next.”

JF and Marie on Cassiopée W visited the Galapagos in 2002 on holiday and at that time never expected to own a boat let alone sail to the Island. JF said “having been here before we had great expectations and these have been exceeded. It’s been spectacular for us to have sailed here and it is a very unique experience traveling to the islands on your own boat.”

They particularly enjoyed the isolation and magic of Isabela which he described as ‘phenomenal.’

For JF, the leg between Santa Marta, Columbia, and the San Blas islands, Panama, felt like they were fully in the routine of this exhilarating trip and they are now really in the heart of the rally.

Having purchased a Hylas 46 a year ago and spent this time getting to know his boat before the start of their adventures JF said “the boat is coping way beyond our expectations with performance and comfort and it has been excellent for this journey. Sailing mostly double handed this boat has proved to be fantastic downwind and very smooth for just the two of us on board.”

With all the fleet anchored in Puerto Ayora participants have time to explore Santa Cruz and the magic this island has to offer. With a wide selection of eateries and even coffee shops in the main port, everyone is taking advantage of dining out and enjoying the local cuisine.

Despite the remoteness of the Galápagos Islands there is a good supermarket and local market in Puerto Ayora for provisions along with small chandleries and hardware stores available to purchase all the boat-bits needed.

Organised by the World ARC team, refuelling is also taking place in the port over the weekend in preparation for the next leg to another set of stunning islands, the Marquesas.

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