Day 158, Year 1: Heather and Jed Arrive
Date: Friday, March 24, 2006
Weather at Anchorage: Change—cloudy, intermittent rain, no wind
Daytime Air Temperature: No Change–82 degrees F daytime
Water Temperature: No Change–77 degrees F
Location: Academy Bay, Puerto Ayoro, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos

What a great feeling to have your children come visit you when you are so very far away from home. During the Christmas holidays, both of our children were able to visit us in the Caribbean. Today our daughter Heather, and her husband, Jed, arrived to spend the next couple of weeks with us and we are so excited to have them here. Justin, our son, is currently in Atlanta with DoubleEdge Theatre and is not able to visit right now, but we are hoping he will be able to visit us in the South Pacific in the early fall. So for now we will enjoy Heather and Jed. And since we were not able to go to Atlanta to see DoubleEdge’s performance of The Unpossessed, half of my family and half of Mark’s are headed there to represent us. That’s what family is all about.

We headed to the airport early this morning to meet Heather and Jed. We had arranged to go by taxi with Jose Louis who had taken us to Cerro Crocker on Wednesday, and even though we got to the dock early, he was there very shortly after we arrived. Johnny Romero, our agent here, was also there. He was so afraid that we were going to be late getting to the airport, but Jose Louis assured us we would make it just fine, and we did. Still we so appreciate Johnny’s constant vigilance to make sure our visit here is “just right”. Heather and Jed spent yesterday in Quito, Ecuador, and really enjoyed it, but evidently political unrest interrupted some of their plans. The President of Ecuador resigned a few days ago and there are protests by indigenous Ecuadorians against the current free trade agreement with the United States. They were not aware of this before arriving, but all was well, and they arrived here safely. On the way back to Puerto Ayora from the airport, we stopped to see the craters of Los Gemelos and visited the Primicias Ranch to see the giant land tortoises. We were not disappointed. There were tortoises everywhere.

The arrival of Heather and Jed did bring a new weather pattern. They brought rain. It has been so long since we have had rain that we no longer bother to shut all the ports when we leave the boat. But today, we should have been more vigilant. As soon as we left the airport, it was evident that we were driving into rain clouds. Thankfully, the rain was light and intermittent and cleared by evening. When we did return to the boat, we were pleasantly surprised to find that everything inside was dry. If it did rain in the harbor today, it must have been a light rain. Lucky for us.

I asked Heather and Jed to give me their first impressions of the Galapagos in five words or less and they said-flat, hot, greener than expected, and not really so different from other parts of the world. I think that is a pretty good summation of this part of the Galapagos. Wildlife is abundant, and some things like the giant land tortoises can only be experienced in a couple of places in the world, but there are many things here that are very much like home. I think the impressions will change when we move to the more remote islands, but we shall see.

060324 Day 158 Galapagos– Heather and Jed Arrive