Day 185, Year 1: So Far, So Good
Date: Thursday, April 20, 2006
Weather: Like Late Summer Days in Maine
Location: Puerto Villamil, Isabella Island, Galapagos
We made it. Our run to Isabella went smoothly, so we are very happy. So far, so good.
Yesterday was a good day, And the “good day” syndrome continued into today. We got up at 0600 and started preparing to leave Puerto Ayoro, our home base since Wednesday, March 15. The five weeks that we have spent here have been phenomenal, but we were ready to depart this morning. Johnny Romero came out to bring our international zarpe at 0630 and shortly before 0800 we departed. When Johnny was on the boat this morning he commented that the season is over. As we looked around the harbor, only one sailboat was left other than ourselves. He had been out delivering departure papers to other clients since 0530. Even the birds knew it was time to move on. The noddy terns and pelicans were everywhere around the boat. They seemed to be pushing us on so they could have their fishing grounds to themselves.
We ran the motor all the way to Isabella-48 miles from Puerto Ayora to here. Everything seems fine and all we can do is continually check to make sure all connections are tight. It will take some time for us to regain confidence again. All we can do for now is hope that all will be fine. When we arrived here in Isabella, we saw some old friends and some new ones. Cam and Arnie on Jade arrived a couple of hours before us. Quantum Leap is here and they are leaving on Saturday evening. Procyon is here and they are leaving mid to late next week. Evidently five boats left here yesterday and a couple of others left this morning, so it does look like we are going to have company out there on the way to the Marquesas. The boats that left yesterday have set up a new radio net that should reach those of us leaving in the next week. Tomorrow we will recheck every bolt in the engine room to make sure all connections are tight and then we will be ready to depart. It looks like Saturday morning will be our departure time. The stretch of 3,000 miles from here to Fata Hiva in the Marqueses is a long one, but we are ready.
As we motored out of Academy Bay, I reflected on the wonders we experienced there . . . the “whoosh” of the pelicans and boobies dive-bombing into the water from high in the sky right beside our boat, the Galapagos shark that visited us from time to time, the huge numbers of noddy terns that continually circled our boat looking for a free fish from a friendly pelican, the sea lions lazing on nearby work boats, the bright orange blossoms on the Acacia trees in town, the black lava rock and white sand beaches, the graceful Parkinsonia trees that drape the landscape like willow trees, the bright red Sally Lightfoot crabs that decorate the black lava rock everywhere, and that always present blue, blue sky. Until the last couple of days, the anchorage in Academy Bay had been crowded, but the number of boats didn’t seem to detract from the wonders of nature all around us. I have been enchanted by these isles and will carry these memories with me always.