Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Panama to Galapagos : Day 8
27th June 2017
Current Position: 00 53. 76 S / 089 36, 73 W.
By 0630 this morning we had just 80 miles left to run. Wanting to get into port before nightfall we took a whip to the horses and put them into a gallop. We were still sailing but were pushing GWTW to her limit in these brisk conditions. Once we get into the lee of the island in a few hours time the conditions should improve but until then we’re toughing it out.
As a result of the wind and seas last night their were heaps of dead flying fish scattered everywhere on the decks including wedged between out solar panels on the roof. Suitably Liam was allotted the icky task of giving them a burial at sea.
Our overnight visitors on the bow left us at first light for hunting grounds closer to home. We hope they enjoyed the wet ride, still it was probably easier than flying home into 25 knots of wind.

P6273834Just before1pm the Land Ho call rang out on GWTW.  We still had a fair way to go but the end was in sight. The island of San Cristobal is 30 odd miles long and once into the lee of the land and flat water the sailing was great. Our fist impressions of San Cristobal reminded us of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic.
This too was a very arid scene, stunning but arid. The coast was made up of a near continuous line of black volcanic rock with a sprinkle of white sand occasionally. The highlands rose gracefully from sea level and further down the islands shrouded in cloud  and mist was what we figured was the El Junco volcanic crater, which we are hoping to visit during our stay here .
A mile or so off the coast a sheer sided rock formation, Kicker Rock. According to Lonely Planet this is a diving and snorkeling hotspot ,so that also got added to the list of must sees.

We entered the main anchorage, well, the only one cruise boats are permitted to stop at on this island, of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. There were many local fishing, dive and liveaboard boats on the moorings and at anchor as well as two other cruising boats,  both French flagged. Colourful shops and homes dotted the shoreline and a couple of water taxis were roaming around looking for a fare. It seemed pleasant enough and this would be home for the duration of our stay here.  At 1700 the anchor chain rattled it’s way out of our locker and latched onto mother earth again. Doing a  long passage is a bit like child berth. You forget all the bad stuff once you are there. 

P6273855No sooner  had the anchor taken up,  a slap on the transom heralded the arrival of our first marine visitor. A small sea lion  had dropped in to welcome us. He was so cute with those drop dead gorgeous big brown eyes. Seeming quite ofay with boat transoms  he stayed a while and then was off back to the beach to his sunbaking friends.

A little while later our agent’s son arrived. We gave him all the  necessary paperwork and said he’d be back with the officials at 0930 tomorrow. He wished a welcome to the Galapagos and a good night’s sleep.
After 8 days and 9 hours and sailing 957 nautical miles we had arrived.
It was time to crack the champers!
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