Wednesday, April 25, 2007

1000 miles to go

We are now two weeks into our passage to the Marquesas. We are 1900 miles from the Galapagos Islands and have 2000 miles to go.
We've had a couple of days of light winds, and several days of pleasant sailing, but now we have 18 to 20 knots of wind and a rather uncomfortable cross-sea. We've used our spinnaker over a fews days, but now we have just the genoa, and that part-furled. All is well aboard.

Our current position is -- 07.46'S 122.02'W

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

2000 miles to go

We are one week into our passage to the Marquesas. We are 900 miles from the Galapagos Islands and have 2000 miles to go.
We had little wind for the first couple of days and we motor-sailed SSW. Once we reached 4 degrees south we found some light trade winds but continued to 5 south before we turned west.
Since then we've had 10-15 knots out of the ESE-SSE and we've made good progress -- around 160 miles per day -- but there has been a bit more swell than we would prefer.
Our current position is -- 05.49'S 105.17'W

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Leaving Isabela

We're leaving Isabella today and setting off for the Marquesas, French Polynesia -- 3000 miles and 3-4 weeks away!

We spent a week in Isabela which is a much smaller community than Santa Cruz. There are less tourist facilities and fewer shops but still we managed to resupply our fresh produce and top up our fuel before leaving. We also made a couple of excursions. One was to the volcano Sierra Negra where we rode on horseback around the rim and hiked over the lava. Our second trip was by boat to the Toneles which is a flooded lava field with excellent snorkeling and opportunities to see boobies, penguins and sea lions.

So now we're off on our longest passage ever. I'll email an update to this blog every week or so assuming email holds out, and I'll try to regularly update our tracking page at YOTREPS. (see the link to the right of this page.)

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Diving in Galapagos

Diving in Galapagos is not for the Novice. Most of the dives are subject to current and surge. The visibility can be very poor - it was. And the water is cold -- I wore a 6 or 7mm wetsuit with hood and gloves.

Having said that, there is a lot to see. We saw many fish that were unfamiliar to us, and many that are endemic to these islands. Many people come to see big animals like hammerhead sharks and mantas -- we had little luck there, however. Probably, the best way to dive the Galapagos is on a liveaboard dive boat.

We did three day divetrips for a total of seven dives:
  1. Santa Fe. The closest site to Puerto Ayora. Probably the best dives.
  2. Gordon Rocks. Supposedly good for sharks. We saw none. Much current and surge. Poorest visibility.
  3. Cousin Rocks and Bartolome. Lots of small fish. Nothing bigger than a turtle.

We dived with Scuba Iguana and Ninfa. We'd recommend Scuba Iguana.

Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands

We're just completing two weeks in Puerto Ayora on Isla Santa Cruz. The anchorage was more comfortable than we were expecting and there is an efficient water taxi service to the town dock. The harbor is very busy with tourist boats calling in every day as well as many day boats based here.

During our two weeks we have :
  • Visited the research center of the Darwin Foundation where they are breeding the endangered giant tortoises.
  • Taken a day trip by boat to North Semour where we saw nesting Frigate Birds and Blue-footed Boobies, as well as sea lions and iguanas.
  • Taken a day trip into the highlands of Santa Cruz to see wild giant tortoises and birds.
  • Spent three days diving.
  • Visited beaches, restaurants and stores.
Now, we're about to move on to Isla Isabela where we plan to spend a week.