As the Galapagos visit draws to a close, preparations are now well under way for the journey ahead for the World ARC 2020 fleet to begin their Pacific crossing to Hiva Oa.
Yesterday some participants came to take part in the annual World ARC beach clean, organised by the volunteer group, Frente Insular. Crew from Marja II, Sana, Libeccio, Domini, Accomplice, Celtic Star, Amazing Grace and Ngahue came along to learn about the work this local group does. A huge amount of rubbish gets washed up with the currents on the Galapagos beaches every year, often from big commercial shipping vessels which dump their rubbish at sea.
Setting up a stall in the main square by the port, the Frente Insular explain about the beach cleaning they do every month or so, and their education programmes for locals, through which they are hoping to change consumer habits on the island. They encourage local restaurants and cafes to avoid using single use plastic. In addition they are a registered organisation which work alongside larger international programmes to ensure other nations begin to play their part also.
The Skipper’s Briefing then took place yesterday afternoon at the Salon de la Ciudad, the city theatre. All skippers plus one attended, listening intently to the instructions for clearances, and crucial advice given for the Pacific passage ahead.
Following on from the skipper’s briefing came the prize-giving at the Hernan Café, just a few blocks around the corner, where participants were met with a welcome mojito cocktail. The usual 3rd, 2nd and 1st places in the 3 divisions were read out, with Domini’s Julian awarding them with a limerick. The surprise and fun followed with a number of prizes given out for other achievements instead... It is a rally not a race after all!
Kari of Lymington won the award for the winner of 1st place in the Open Division, Laura IV for catching the largest fish overall, Cloud Shadow for the fastest ketch, Mola won the first to dress overall, Amari won for the greatest number of engine hours on leg 3, Sana for the largest fuel order (an impressive 420 gallons), and for the largest (inflatable) donut caught in the Caribbean Sea, the award had to go to Aurora.
The Photo Competition also came to a close at last night’s awards. Throughout the past few weeks in the Galapagos, the fleet have been handing in their photos and videos of crossing the Equator, during the previous leg. With Neptunes a plenty, we had some incredible entries from Saorsa, Remedy, Ariel, Laura IV, Sapphire II of London, Celtic Star, Deo Juvante, Maximilian, Starling, Milanto, Next Step and Ngahue. The overall first prize had to be awarded to Sea Lover, who put the cherry on top – with the Skipper Jose foilboarding across the Equator from the catamaran.
Domini, Libeccio, Laura IV and Domini were given a mention and a token of appreciation from the yellow shirts for keeping the World ARC office and shop literally on board their boats throughout the rally so far.
Finally, the Blue jacket award - first handed to the fleet at the previous stopover in Las Perlas to Marja II for overcoming adversity, was this time awarded by Matti and Marja to a boat of their choice. The jacket, proudly already bearing Marja II’s sewn adornments, was given to Island Wanderer for the fantastic example they set to the fleet of how to work together. Always a helpful hand and advice, they are loved fleet-wide for embodying the real spirit of the World ARC. A well-deserved award.
Following on from the prize-giving, the fleet moved to Il Giordino Italian restaurant, where they enjoyed a three-course dinner across the different levels. Choosing between local tuna or chicken dishes, and making their way down the wine and cocktails list, the buzzing atmosphere and fantastic service in this treehouse style restaurant would be hard to beat. It was a great way to top off another brilliant stopover.
An added bonus this morning, kids from Libeccio and Deo Juvante have enjoyed a morning activity at the new local library, playing Galapagos-species themed bingo, and designing and stencilling their own t-shirts. The library is run by local volunteer guides, who frequently run half day activities for children of the local community.
Today, with 24 hours before departure for Leg 4, final fuel and water deliveries are being made, whilst clearances out of the Galapagos are taking place on shore: The final steps before sailing out into the vast Pacific blue.