Sent Friday, April 16th from enroute between the Galapagos and Marquesas:
Hello friends and family,
We are currently at South 04 o 41’, West 99 o 8’. The big news of the day was that Peter caught a Mahi-Mahi which we immediately sautéed. Journal entry from the day after Easter to follow.
Monday, 1425hrs CST, April 12, 2004:
S 01o02′, W 091 o o02′
(Immediately SE of Isle Isabella, Galapagos Island)
We weighed anchor at midnight Easter morning and departed Puerto Ayora under a rising half moon. There was virtually no wind and Lillian drifted through the night towards the Galapagos Island of Isabella 45 miles to the southwest. Peter had visited Isabella Island earlier in the week and returned with reports of its beauty, friendly people, and the promise of fresh fruit and vegetables. Officially we were already checked out of the Galapagos, without a permit to visit Isabella enroute. But, the chance to stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables was too tempting to resist. At around eight o’clock Easter morning, we gave up hopes that the wind would appear and, instead, started the engine to make sure to arrive at Isabella with a good mid-day sun angle to negotiate the harbor. Our entrance was made easier by the presence of over 15 other sailboats lying at anchor. They must have had the same idea of sneaking in one last stop before sailing downwind for 15 to 30 days at sea.
After anchoring, Peter remained on board and Dick and I took the Zodiac to the beach for an Easter walk around the harbor town of Villamyl. The water next to the public quay was filled with children swimming and jumping. On the beach, about 20 barefoot young men were engaged in an energetic soccer match with impromptu goals. The town itself appeared nearly deserted, with streets of dirt and sand. Apparently nearly everyone was at the beach. It felt a little like being in a Spaghetti Western. The entire population of the island, the largest geographically of the Galapagos islands, is only 2000. We did find a small café, a block from the beach, and stopped in for a beer. The café was open air, shielded from the sun and the street by palm fronds and living plants. The owner seemed glad to see us, even though we interrupted her watching a dubbed version of the Eddie Murphy film, “Coming to America.”
After the cold beers, Dick and I walked some more and then motored out to visit the sailboat, Pazzo, the crew of which we had met in Puerto Ayora and who had helped guide us into Isabella over the VHF radio. Pazzo carries a cruising family consisting of the mother (whose name I don’t remember), the dad (Willie), an Uncle (John), and three children (whose names I also have forgotten, if I knew them to begin with). At their invitation, Dick and I joined them on the beach for a locally prepared buffet that included delicious albacore tuna. Many of the crews from other yachts attended. They are an interesting assortment, including over a dozen children of various ages. Some of these families have been cruising and home schooling for years. One skipper retired from Intel in 1984 and has been cruising ever since. I figure he must be connected with the original founders and decided to change life styles. (Don’t worry Kay, I’m not planning to follow his example.) Most of these families are headed in the same direction as we, so I look forward to meeting them again. A report on fellow cruisers is to follow, but for now, allow me to finish reporting on our departure from the Galapagos. The next day, Monday morning after Easter, Peter and I rode with a local named Antonio, up into the rainforest where for about the same price as the ride ( $10) we returned with fresh tomatoes, grapefruit, oranges, passion fruits, limes the size of oranges, zucchini papayas, coconuts, bananas on the stalk, eggplants, a pineapple, various peppers, and a watermelon. We also topped off our water and diesel jugs. By 1330, we had loaded the supplies onto Lillian, secured the Zodiac on deck, weighed anchor and cleared Isabella Harbor and the Galapagos. Next stop is 2960 miles downwind.