Day 176, Year 1: Heather and Jed Leave the Galapagos
Date: Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Weather: No Change—Still Beautiful
Location: Academy Bay, Puerto Ayoro, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos

I truly believe that when a child is born, a part of the mother’s inner being is transferred to the child she has been carrying . . . and that part of the mother’s inner being provides a very strong tie between mother and child. Of course, as fallible human beings we can always do something to either strengthen or weaken that bond, but if it remains strong, a mother has a very difficult time with separation from the child. When the child becomes an independent adult, the mother continues to strive to keep the bond intact. Even when hundreds or thousands of miles separate a mother from her child, I believe the mother can sense the happiness or sadness that the child is experiencing. This is what separates humans from many other species. So today when my daughter Heather and her husband Jed left the Galapagos, the sadness of separation overtook me. It was so very wonderful to share a place that I consider the top of my list of special places on earth and it was very hard to let Heather and Jed go. We had an incredible time together here-a time I will always cherish-and I only wish our son Justin could have been here with us. Mark and I said to Heather and Jed that we will have to return here with Justin for another family experience in the Galapagos, so I look forward to the time when we can do that. We also look forward to the time when Justin can join us in the South Pacific. But enough of a mother’s philosophical babbling and on to the happenings of today.

Our day began much earlier than we would have liked. Sometime in the middle of the night, Windbird started rocking and rolling. The anchorage here in Puerto Ayoro is known for this, but we have been lucky until now. Just before we arrived here there were reports of breaking waves in the anchorage, and while we were away on our five-day tour there was another 48-hour period where the swells rolled in and caused boats much anguish. Last night’s rough and tumble calmed with the rising sun, but who knows what tonight will bring. Whatever, we will just have to roll with the punches. Our next rough spot in the day also happened early. Around 7 AM we called our agent, Johnny Romero, to find out what time we should leave for the airport in order to make Heather and Jed’s flight out to the mainland. Johnny replied that Heather and Jed weren’t flying out until tomorrow and asked us to check the tickets. Sure enough, the flight from here to Quito was set for tomorrow, but their flight back to the US from Quito was also tomorrow and there is no way to do both in one day. This mix-up happened because the original departure day from here was April 12, but that had to be changed and evidently there was a confusion in the communication of this. As always Johnny said, “No worries.” And in about 20 minutes he got back to us with the news that there was still room on the mid-day flight to Quito, so all was well. By this time it was only 8:20 AM and we had survived crisis number two for the day.

Thankfully, the rest of the day went smoothly. Heather, Jed, Mark, and I headed to Baltra to the airport. You have to take a taxi or a bus from here north for about 20 miles and then get on a ferry that takes you to the island of Baltra. As we were sitting on the ferry waiting for transit, Mark opened the computer case that held our Sony Vaio that went on the brink a month ago. Heather and Jed had brought us a replacement and this computer was going back to the US with Heather and Jed for repairs. Mark hit the ‘on’ button one more time to try and start the computer that had refused to start since Panama, and miraculously the screen said, “Welcome to Windows”. We have absolutely no idea why, but the Sony is now working again. We turned it off and back on again, and it seemed to be working just fine. We decided to bring it back with us rather than send it on with Heather and Jed. We can at least retrieve the files we have lost and save them on our new hard drive. Miracles never cease. We are fairly certain that this reprieve is temporary, but for now we will have three working computers aboard. That is certainly better than none.

We said our farewells to Heather and returned to Puerto Ayoro. There was a huge emptiness inside both of us as we returned, but we have almost three weeks of wonderful memories. In fact, tomorrow we will have been here for four weeks. Most of the boats that were here when we arrived are gone now, but new ones come in everyday. Tom and Betty Lee Walker of Quantum Leap arrived today. We met them at the Panama Canal Yacht Club and look forward to seeing them once again. Randy and Sherri aboard Procyon are still here and so is Aqua Magic, so we have friends in port. We are so happy that Randy of Procyon is doing so well after being taken to the mainland to have stomach ulcers removed. I haven’t seen him yet, but everyone says he looks great and will be ready to sail on to the Marquesas after the first of May.

We are waiting for the transmission parts to arrive from the US. Until then, we will do some of the much needed maintenance on the boat and hope that the installation of the new transmission parts will get us up and running once again. Until then we will continue to enjoy this incredible place.

060411 Day 176 Galapagos Santa Cruz–Saying Farewell to H&J
Day 177, Year 1: Back to Just the Two of Us
Day 175, Year 1: Another Trip to Tortuga Bay