Arriving into the Galapagos is quite a process and it is refreshingly clear that tourism takes a very 2nd place to the animals, environment and eco system. Eleven inspectors visit the boat, including a diver, a doctor, meat inspector, quarantine officials and the navy. Only biodegradable products can be used onboard, and there is a strict limit on food stuffs to protect against invasive species. This is enough to put some people off visiting the islands - which is kind of the point. But we are certainly glad we stopped by, it is a naturelovers paradise and a one of a kind stopover.
Skyelark stopped at the 3 ports that you’re allowed to visit with a yacht, and from there made various sorties by foot, bicycle, flippers, speed boats and jeeps. We confess to ‘bagging’ animal sightings. On the list were blue footed boobies, hammerhead sharks, white tip, black tip and Galapagos sharks, eagle rays, giant tortoises, marine iguanas, sealions, turtles (massive), seahorses, penguins… and we saw them all, and plenty of them. It’s such a joy to see such a wide variety of life, and none of them show any fear of us, not even the little fish, or small land animals. If you’re sat on a bench and the sealion wants it – prepare to move. I met a giant sea turtle coming through a swim through that wasn’t big enough for both of us, and it was pretty clear who needed to give way.
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So now four new crew have joined us, as we prepare for our longest leg across the Pacific. It’s just over 3000 miles to Hiva Oa in the Marquesas and the trade winds are looking favourable for an enjoyable passage. Skyelark is fully stocked and ready to leave on the 4th with the rest of the World ARC yachts.