Sunday, April 22, 2007

Gone Fishin´

Or out to lunch or whatever you want to call it. We are off in the morning to the Marquessas. After almost 30 days in the Galapagos we are out of here. Our last stop was Isla Isabella where we enjoyed lots more wildlife including small penguins fishing under our boat on a daily basis and a lagoon filled with hundreds of large sea turtles. No pictures this time as this place only has painfully slow dial-up. No uploading here so they will have to wait. They will be the last pictures for awhile as my trusty Sony Cybershot has gone to the great electronics store in the sky. No backup? Yeah, that right. Sad I know, so no more until I get a new one or it magically comes to life or one of you brings us one in French Ploynesia. On to the good. We have 3000 miles and reports of good winds out there. We are traveling with other boats for safety and fun. Although we will mostly just be in contact by radio. We are not likely to see much of each other with varying speeds etc. But radio contact is propagating over 1000 miles so that will be our connection to the world. We will talk to you on the other side in about a month or so.
We speak French Au Revoir!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

mas galapagos photos

This morning at 6am Mark woke me up to see little 1-2 foot reef sharks who were busy fishing for their breakfast right off of the stern of Scholarship. Groups of 5 or 6 cruised around along with a little school of manta rays. So much to see without even leaving home. We are heading off to Isla Isabella in the manana. Our last island will hopefully allow us to see even more wildlife. In the meantime we are getting ready for the big passage to the Marquessas. There are a lot of other cruisers here that will also be getting underway in the next few weeks. We all spend a lot of time speculating about the wind and how many days it will take to go almost 3000 miles.

A visit to the Charles Darwin Center
Beggers at the fish market
The new fancy dinghy cover handmade by Mark

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Open it iguana...

The Galapagos Islands are known for iguanas. Our first experience with a Galapagos iguana was one afternoon on the beach in San Cristobal. Walking along the path Mark noticed all these trenches in the sand where it looked like someone had been dragging a garden hose. It was an iguana track, and large on at that. We found the big kahuna hiding in the shade of a tree. The afternoon sun was punishing so as we got closer he crawled slowly further into the bushes. We decided afternoon was not the time to see these creatures so the next morning armed with coffee and my camera we hit the beach again for a morning walk with the iguanas. They are absolutely fascinating and we spent about two hours getting up close and personal while they posed for photos as the ocean sprayed them with each new wave. On to the next island we encountered another beach not friendly for swimming or even surfing but an iguana mecca. They lay in piles along the whole beach. Only glancing up occasionally if you come to far into their personal space. Also the iguanas spit at passersby to say hello or more likely as a warning but it´s not so daunting as they usually cannot be bothered to move. These guys are swimmers and after several attempts to coax into the water it took me in the water first to finally see one swim. Our third iguana beach, here on Santa Cruz is beautiful white sugar sand. We pitched out umbrella next to a salty lagoon. As I stepped slowly into the cold water the iguana got right up to the water and jumped in right next to me. Putting his little legs back and cruising around like a snake with his sturdy tail. Really cool.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Galapagos...Isla San Cristobal

I can honestly say that trip from Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador to the Galapagos was dreamlike and our most enjoyable passage to date. 530 miles and four and a half days of flat seas and enough wind to keep us sailing without the motor most of the time. We arrived in the early morning to the misty fog of Isla San Cristobal. There was no actual island in sight (except on radar) until about a mile and half away. As we rounded the bouy there it was, a harbor full of commercial and crusier boats alike, our new home (for the week anyway). As we dropped the hook we could faintly smell, but definately hear the barking and moaning of a legion of sea lions in the background. The first to welcome us to the Galapagos was indeed some very playful sea lions. Flipping and gasping as they circled Scholarship. There little puppy faces are irresistable to me and I have to restrain myself from taking too many pictures of them. They seem to be in harmony with humans here. It´s not uncommon to find one in your dinghy or one passed out the street close to the malecon. That is the very tip of the iceberg as far as wildlife is concerned. In our four days here we have encountered several birds I would deem exotic, marine turtles and iguanas and of course many fascinating gigantic land tortioses. On the way back from the totioses we even found a 300-year-old tree with a bar in it. Today we hit the water for some snorkeling with the lobos del mar (what sea lions are called here). A bit colder than I had expected, actually a lot colder. A lot like California water. Glad we have those hefty 7mm wetsuits stashed in the bilge. I will be wearing mine soon. Our Galapagos permit limits us to visiting only four of the thirteen islands. A few more to go, so we will be moving on in a day or so. Below are some photos from San Cristobal. Enjoy.