Arrival.....GALAPAGOS! Under a very drizzly ski, we picked up a free yellow mooring buoy at 8am, in Puerto Baquerizo, San Cristobal, Galapagos, Ecuador. As we were coming into the harbour, Ron remarked...."mmmm, reminds me of BC weather." Yes, well, we aren't complaining.
The passage was uneventful and fast. We were out for exactly 5 days, hitting the open ocean at 8am on the 27th, and picking up the mooring here at 8am. Unfortunately, our fantastic sailing passage had to be interrupted by the engine...the wind completely died about 20 miles to the east of San Cristobal, and when a sailor can smell land, there isn't much to be done about it, but just to get there. Which for us, wasn't the end of the world - we needed to slow the boat waaayyyy down anyway, because as it was, we would be arriving in the dark. Around 5:30am, we started looking to the east to get a bit of help from the new year's sun, and got it (well, brighening anyway, no sun) in order to let us see what we were up against.
A smallish cruise ship is here, anchored just off our starboard beam. We assume it was a "holiday cruise", and we can't think of a better place to ring in the new year.
Not off the boat yet, but a few first impressions. Wow, the water is clear. In 28 feet of water, we can easily see the mooring resting on the floor of the bay. The sounds of sea lions ring through the air....yup, we've been told that it's a water taxi for us, as they apparently like to take up residence in your dinghy, even if it's hanging over the water. Guess our boarding ladder will also stay up, as we're not sure we want to sacrifice it to the comfort of these heavy beasts.
One thing we had to do yesterday was clean the bottom of the boat. While we had asked Ariosta back in Bahia to give it a scrub, we have been told that the officials here like to make sure that boats arriving aren't bringing any unwanted guests. Around 1pm, we dropped the sails, and I hiked myself overboard to give the waterline a look. Yes, ended up spending about 2 hours in the heaving sea. In these instances, Ron plays my backup, and I made sure to assure myself that we were in good moods with one another. Not sure I would have liked to have been left behind. It was a balancing act - a rope to hang onto, the hookah line to keep track of, the sides and bottom of the boat to be avoided in the swell; suffice it to say that I was knackered by the time I got myself out of the water. I got most of the slimey muck off, and was pleased to see that there were just a tiny few barnacles. One of our transducers was the worst, with a mini reef growing. Knocked that down, and also gave the propeller another quick scrub, and by 3:30, we were back underway again.
The officials haven't come to see us yet, but we've made contact with them via vhf, wishing them feliz ano nuevo. We told them our agent was Bolivar, but all they wanted to know was how many people on board. We'll see what the next few hours holds in store.
Over and out from THE GALAPAGOS!!!!