Isabelle takes the helm as we set out reluctantly from Santa Cruz .

Heading south.  Next stop Easter Island .

When life gives you tropical fruit you make mini pavlovas.

Banana pineapple cake with passion fruit (maracuya) icing. 

Squalls in the ITCZ.

Isabelle sailing through the squall.

Singing in the rain.

And having so much fun.

Sailing out of the sunset.

Smoldering clouds.

More smoldering clouds.

When Ken broke his pinky and needed a sling Isabelle took out her trusty crochet hook and string and put one together in minutes.

We call the back hatch the tank hatch.

Sea and sky

Sun trail

Matt caught a bonito. This guy became fish tacos within the hour.

Then Drew, not to be outdone, caught two beniuto at the same time.

Matthew presenting the catch of the day a few days later. Exquisite scales on the mahi mahi (dorado) we caught.

Heavenly light

After the madening calm/squall pattern of the intertropical convergence zone we picked up robust southeasternly (20-25krts) winds and a southwesterly swell which made for a bumpy and unpleasant ride. We were just past half way to Easter Island and only a quarter of the way to Chile. The weather picked up to a 3m swell and 35 knots. This was nothing to particularly challenge Ironbarque as she is an immensely well built and seaworthy boat but a good foretaste of the remainder of the trip to Chile. Easter Island was not a guaranteed rest stop as bad weather would close it out for us as Ironbarque is a big boat and cannot fit into the one sheltered harbor on the island. We asked ourselves the obvious question "Are we having fun yet?" and since the answer was "no" decided to turn back towards the Galapagos. Coastal cruising was more fun.

This is what it looks like when your genoa furling line blows. We repaired/replaced and blew this line three times on the way back to Galapagos. We did not carry a spare of this relatively small diameter rope and had only significantly smaller diameter. Later on in Galapagos Ken re-rigged the blocks to provide a better angle to the furling drum and replaced the line.

The cable on the steering quadrant broke and Ken replaced it with the spare.  Within a day the chain on the spare broke too.  The kids helped but we decided to wait until we got to Santa Cruz to marry the chain from one with the cable from the other.  We made our way to the island using the autopilot and then Ken used the power mode to steer into the bay and anchor.  Mad skills.  Needless to say, we were very glad we were not in 3m seas and 35 knot winds while trying to fix it.

The sky on fire

No apologies for the number of sunset photos

Sunset in the ITCZ

The first of the islands come back into view, much to our great joy after 16 days weeks at sea.

Motoring in the ITCZ

Island emerges like a crocodile

After the 3m waves we experienced down south it was extraordinary to see the oily calm around the Equator with dolphins slicing through it.

Clouds reflected on the satin surface.

Sea like a silk scarf

Sea and sky merging.

Nico on the lookout for our second arrival in the Galapagos.