The big sail - time to leave Galapagos

Published on 6 March 2024 at 23:58

A completely different mood around the fleet last night, and on board this morning, as we all prepare to leave early this afternoon.


We have had a great stay in Galapagos.


Before leaving Isabela we cycled to the wall of tears, built by prisoners in a penal colony many of whom died in the process, as recently as 1959 - and the wall was never intended to serve any purpose at all. We had a last afternoon on the beach, as the tide came in - we could just stand waist deep, with penguins swimming around us and surfing the waves, as well as sealions, small black tip reef sharks and pelicans all almost within touching distance - we even had a small manta ray swim around us


We then moved on to Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz, the biggest town in Galapagos. Many more facilities, and a lot more touristy, but still lovely nonetheless. Quite a big anchorage, with sharks everywhere (smallish black tip reef sharks so not dangerous - but enough to put you off swimming!). We had 8 of them around us as we dropped anchor, and there are typically about 20 round our boat at any one time. We have the odd turtle swim past, and even had an eagle ray yesterday. We also had a couple of pelicans roosting on the solar panels - wow do they make a mess and affect our electricity generation!


We had a final snorkelling trip on Monday, where we were snorkelling with turtles and sealions (very close!), large white tip reef sharks (not quite so close!), eagle rays, stingrays and a whole variety of tropical fish, all in the clearest water we've experienced so far. We even saw a Mobula Ray a short distance away from us, and saw a very large pod of dolphins from the boat. Nothing was even put off by the headgear I had to adopt to avoid sunburn!


We've also been inland, visiting a small organic coffee plantation where they grow coffee in lava!


And we've now got the boat ready - fuelled up and all our provisioning done. There was a farewell drink last night - quite a camaraderie has developed in the fleet, with quite a different feel last night as everyone parted company for the big crossing, and we left shore for the last time.


We're now all confined to our boats as the immigration officials visit each boat in turn to give us our customs clearance, then we will depart this afternoon - with 3000 miles of open ocean to cross until we reach Hiva Oa in the Marquesas. Exciting!!


We hope to average 5 to 6 knots, and to cross in about 3 weeks or so. Currently the weather in harbour is perfect, with a gentle breeze, although I suspect it's just a sea breeze onto the island which will drop as we move offshore. Forecast is not great for tomorrow (rain and very little wind) but a front should come through after that, and hopefully within 2-3 days we'll get into a zone with nice consistent following winds for the first time in the entire trip (even though we had hoped for them throughout!). So fingers crossed.


Off for final preparations now!




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3 months ago

What fantastic photos! Wishing you well and hope the weather stays just as you would like it xx