Day 172, Year 1: Be Careful What You Wish For
Date: Friday, April 7, 2006
Weather: Blue Skies, Calm Seas, Winds Building to 15-18 Knots PM
Location: Academy Bay, Puerto Ayoro, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos

As we left Isabella, I commented to Heather, Jed, and Mark that I really don’t want to leave the Galapagos Islands. I love it here. Mark reminded me that I seem to feel this way about many places we have visited, but I assured him that this place is different. It is really special. But off we went back to Santa Cruz. There was very little wind and a current against us, so we motored along all morning and into the afternoon. At about 1:30 in the afternoon, I was down in the galley fixing lunch and I heard commotion on deck. Heather and Jed heard a strange sound coming from the engine room-something like tinkling bells-and then the tinkling became a very noisy rattle and we stopped moving forward. It seemed to me impossible . . . but we once again found ourselves without a working transmission. Unbelievable!

If you have followed these logs from the beginning, you know that we had transmission difficulties before leaving the US and actually had a new engine and transmission installed. Well, here we are in the Galapagos, which is in the heart of the doldrums with little or no wind, and no way to continue on the Marqueses without the engine. All I could think is that I didn’t REALLY mean that I wanted to stay here, but we will be here for a bit longer now until we can work this problem out.

At just the moment that the transmission died, the wind came up and we put out the head sail and started sailing to Santa Cruz. We were able to keep up our same speed, but had to go a bit off course to take full advantage of the wind. It was going to be sundown when we reached Academy Bay with the engine, and having to go off course meant that we would be coming in after dark under sail. Not an easy thing to do in a crowded anchorage, but we had very little choice. Aqua Magic had left Isabella after us and as we got closer to port, we called them on the radio and told them that we might need assistance. Since they would get in before us, we asked them to look for a good spot for us to anchor. We also thought that we might be able to get a water taxi to tow us in if necessary. Margaret and Patrick were very helpful and with wind that was totally cooperating and the light of half full moon, we were able to sail right in and drop our anchor successfully. It was wonderful to have Heather and Jed with us as extra eyes and hands. I’m sure Mark and I would have made it in alone, but probably not as gracefully!

We will spend tomorrow trying to figure out what to do. We know that getting repairs done from here is not as easy as on the mainland, but we are here and we will have to do the best we can.

060407 Day 172 Galapagos Santa Cruz–Return to Puerto Ayoro