Passage to and Arrival in Galapagos

 

Hitch hikers on the bow. Bobbies followed us almost all the way across.

Boobies on night watch

Boobies on a break

Monet sky

Howzat!

Drew on watch

A flying fish crash landed on the deck.  Thor Heyerdahl spoke highly of fried flying fish but we decided to give it a miss.

Nico made a bobsled run out of dominos so that when the boat heeled all the little Lego figures went racing down the slope.

It was hilarious to watch.

Midnight at the oasis

The end of another day

Snuggled in and clipped on.

Bella enjoying music at the helm

Nico getting his daily dose of vitamin D

Squall dead ahead

Approaching another squall

Matthew and Clare bundled up to face the squall.  It was windy and rainy but the seas were calm.  The two fog horns you can see to the right of the helm are very useful.  They pick up sound from the helm so you can speak to the crew down below.  There is also a PA microphone down below so the crew can call up to the helmsman to ask if they need anything.

Entering the squall

Then the sea was languid again

With no wind the water looked alternately icy and oily.  We are officially in the doldrums.

After empty blue skies we could watch cumulus form before our eyes

Despite the heat it was really important to make varied and delicious meals.  This was a spinach and brown rice quiche

OK, so there were a lot of clouds.

The endless sea and the sky

We were dodging squalls the whole way through the ITCZ

Rain

The actual equatorial crossing was going to happen at night so we had Matthew’s high school graduation ceremony at the start of his watch when we were just 33 minutes north.

Matthew with his mortar board made by Clare, with tassel made by Isabelle and gown looking very like a life jacket, taking the helm in every sense.

The official graduate with the latitude just visible on the nav pod

Crossing the Equator at 22:15 on February 21st 2011.  Matthew and Clare counted down at the change of watch.

Land Ho

Puerto Ayora on the Island of Santa Cruz where we arrived on the morning of February 22nd 2011

Santa Cruz sunset

Colorful boat

Where there are clouds there is rain.  This has been a particularly wet season so the island is very lush.

Water surface pocked by the powerful rain storm

Rain dimpled sea

Where there’s rain there will be a rainbow

Auditioning for the role of figurehead.

The agency that helped us with our entry paperwork, obtaining diesel and lining up tours.  They were very reasonable and extremely helpful.  The agent, Tuomo, is from Finland and is fluent in English and Spanish, too.

We highly recommend that you consider using Galapagos Ocean Services should you sail to Puerto Ayora. Just hail "GOS Tuomo" on Channel 72.

The offices of Galapagos Ocean Services

Galapagos Ocean Services allows their cruising clients to use the shower and laundry facilities by their dinghy dock.

Shower

Laundry

Galapagos Ocean Services Dinghy dock where you can also fill up with water.  You may need to negotiate with napping sea lions.

Ironbarque from the GOS dock

My next home

Or this one will do

The oldest restaurant on the island, owned by a family of Swiss heritage whose parents came out after WWII.  They also have a milk herd on the island.

Internet and sustenance are available in La Garrapata where the floor is lined with lava gravel.

Iguana on the rocks. Oddly enough, no one has locally offered a cocktail named in honor of the beast.

Crabs

A curious bird is the pelican

The fleet.

Fish market

Pelicans and sea lions line up in the shade to catch scraps.

Awaiting the scraps

One pelican got too cheeky and grabbed a whole fish off the counter.  The fisherman grabbed him by the neck, thrust open his beak, ripped out the fish and hurled the bird to the side!

Nico and friend

Typical street in Puerto Ayora.

Most of the streets are one-way with generous cycle lanes.  This is Avenida Charles Darwin, heading towards the oldest restaurant on the Island , “La Garrapata”.

Marine electronics store

Workshop where every type of engine or welding project can be completed.  We had two new toilet pump handles made here!!

Iguana on the side walk.

Iguana obeying road signs

Breakfast spread of beignet and fruit for Ken’s birthday.

The water-front restaurant where we celebrated Ken’s birthday 2 days after our arrival.

View across the bay from the Angermeyer Inn.

Lunch with a view over the bay to the Charles Darwin Research Station park.

Lunch on the bay

Pasta de camerones.

Pepper steak

Fish on a dish

Complimentary dessert

Happy Birthday to Ken.

Boats in the bay.

The variety of tour boats anchored in the bay and one of their dinghies disgorging tourists.

Boys ready to jump off the roof.

Kids leap and swim off the taxi stop between boats.

The taxis weave in and out of the swimming kids, treating them like just another protected species.

The bizarre landscape at sea level.

Flora

Flora

 

And fauna.  Iguanas are everywhere underfoot.

It is nesting season and you have to be careful to avoid their nesting holes.

Catching a taxi aquatico from “el otro lado”.  It’s only 60 cents per adult and half price for kids.

Typical street in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz .

The air-conditioned library where the kids were able to do their school work.  The stock of books indicates some charitable dumping of old texts and National Geographic magazines from last century.  There is a useful cabinet of books specifically about the Galapagos.

Shop front Santa Cruz

Shop front Santa Cruz

Great little pizza and gelato restaurant.

Pizza Margarita on lava rock

 

Domestic application of lava.

Bank built out of lava rocks.

Architectural use of lava.

Boardwalk over the mangroves with Ironbarque in the distance.

A fun open air café at the entrance to the Charles Darwin Research Station.

View of Ironbarque from Charles Darwin Center with Iguana and crabs in the foreground.

Charles Darwin Center

Tortoise breeding station on Santa Cruz

Tortoises lay 4-6 eggs at a time.  The eggs are collected from all the islands and brought o the Charles Darwin tortoise breeding center and kept in species segregated pens until they are big enough to be released on their islands.

The tortoises are fed vegetation specific to their islands.

This is the story of Lonesome George, the last remaining representative of his species.

That enormous mound in the shade is Lonesome George

Lonesome George is huge.

Trying his best to look like a cobblestone.

New member of the family.

Dinner for two.

Made in the shade

So what are we lining up for?

Conversation piece.

Feeding time at the Darwin Research Station.

Feeding time for the sharks.

Iguana breeding station

Iguana breeding station