Isabela is the largest island in Galapagos but it’s much less developed than Santa Cruz. Puerto Villamil used to be a penal colony and today there’s a small village here with a few shops, hostels and restaurants. There are two other kid boats in the anchorage (1 Australian and 1 Scottish) and the boys are in heaven. Yesterday morning all the kids were swimming together in the bay and the penguins came over to join them. They had so much fun and an experience to remember forever! The sea lions are plentIful here too and the marine iguanas are even bigger than on Santa Cruz. We’re planning to leave tomorrow or the day after depending on when we finish the last maintenance jobs. We’ll provide regular position updates on http://blog.mailasail.com/rehua
This is going to be our longest crossing yet and could take us more than a month (but fingers crossed it will be less than that!) and we’re ready for it! Next stop Marquesas!
The amount of wildlife in Galapagos is truly staggering: sea lions, turtles, pelicans, sharks, tortoises, marine iguanas, blue footed boobies, penguins, … Even just sitting at anchor in Puerto Ayero we see loads! Santa Cruz is very green and lush and the island produces plenty of fruit and veg so we are able to stock up on fresh produce. We’re planning to spend a few more days here and then head to Isabella, a nearby island, to join our friend boat Toucan and cross the Pacific together. Wifi is very limited on these islands so while I get the chance, here are some pics …
Ten days to cover less than 900NM… Probably our slowest and most frustrating crossing so far! The first few days were calm as expected and we enjoyed the flat water. Day three brought a lumpy sea, wind, rain and electric thunderstorms. After that we continued to battle adverse current and wind direction which meant a lot of motoring. We can only hope that it won’t be like this all the way to the Marquesas as we have another 3000NM or so to go! We arrived in Santa Cruz yesterday afternoon, anchored in the bay and went straight to the port captain to clear in. We immediately noted the friendly atmosphere. An agent was quickly appointed to help us with the formalities (it is obligatory to use an agent apparently) and he took our passports and boat registry documents and sorted everything out in no time. Thirty minutes later four officials came to the boat (immigration, park authorities, port captain). They checked inside every cupboard for insects, went through a long list of safety and security questions and even wanted to see our life jackets and checked the expiry dates on our medicines (!). We passed with flying colours (phew). Final check this morning of our hull for barnacles and other foreign species. I didn’t envy the diver as we had seen a big shark zig zag past the boat just earlier. Our hull was fine and we are now allowed to stay in Galápagos up to 20 days. It’s very different from what I expected, much greener (at least Santa Cruz is) and to my astonishment quite developed with restaurants, a supermarket and even a skate park for the boys. There’s lots do including day trips to other islands, snorkelling trips and much more but first it’s time for a nice meal and a good rest 🙂
sunset over the Pacific
one of our many visitors during the trip, a red footed booby
puerto ayero, santa cruz, galapagos