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April 27, 2006 12:34 PM

The Galapagos Archipelago

GALAPAGOS, ECUADOR - Last night, as the sun was set over the Galapagos islands, Seal Lions and Giant floating turtles welcomed our boat to the village of Puerto Ayora where we promptly went ashore for a celebratory meal and drink.

On my map of the world, it´s obvious that this first leg, is a very small step across a very large ocean, but I can´t help but feel that this landfall is more significant than the miles suggest. There is no turning back now, we´ve taken that first giant leap offshore.

As far as having fair winds and following seas though, we´ll have to wait until we break from here toward the Marquesas with the trade winds. We faced headwinds nearly every single day as we muscled our way down to the equator and we weren't without our share of mechanical challenges along the way. Including overheated engines and blown starter motors. Nothing we couldn´t handle.

There were moments of aching boredom and moments of terrifying excitement, the most memorable of which cumulated in me having to climb the main mast (55 ft) to fix a jammed halyard. This is something that can be unnerving in the best of conditions; in the middle of the Pacific I was faced with the added difficulty of a rolling and bobbing boat, which of course is amplified at the top of the mast. It was as if she was trying to buck me off. Brian, being the heavier of the two of us, was left on deck to man the safety rope, jealous and defeated.

269 nautical miles from any land we were approached by a small fishing boat. Alarming to say the least. Instead of pirating us, they traded four big squid for a pack of cigarettes then quickly motored out of sight. I forgot to ask where they were from and have no idea how they´ll make it home. They were in a boat not much bigger than a standard 14ft tin runabout. No maps, no GPS, no radios. Strange.

There were other moments of adventure but I feel I´m rambling already. For now we´re looking forward to what is billed as the wildlife experience of a lifetime, a first hand lesson in natural history set in this barren, volcanic land where Charles Darwin formulated his theory of evolution.

*The batteries on my camera are dead. I´ll post photos as soon as they´re recharged.


Justin said:

Glad you made it there, must be awesome! Nowhere to buy batteries in the galapagos though? Odd, you'd think they'd at least have a Wal Mart or a Giant Tiger. = \


April 27, 2006 04:53 PM
suzi q & carolina said:

Hey sailors,
The boating life´s a breeze, no? Jammed halyards in the middle of the Pacific...childsplay.
Great to hear you had no choice but to stop in the Galapagos, send our love to the giant tortoises and we`ll send yours to the best Colombia has to offer...the coffee, obviously.
Just left Tayrona national park on the Caribbean coast, where we slept in hammocks on the beach, cooked by campfire every night, and lived on fresh coconuts topped up with rum. Have decided to skip the diving in Taganga (and hence not meet people, go places and do things) and try the rafting life for a change...paragliding is also on the cards, but really we`re just trying to skip Bogota around election time coz apparently it`s a non-drinking, rioting zone.
Oh sorry, just realised this isn´t our website...

Bye for now Clutch and Captain Canada.
Hugs and kisses. Take care and buena suerte.

April 27, 2006 06:20 PM
matt said:

amazing. i can't wait to hear more.

April 28, 2006 02:01 AM