Monday, May 14, 2007

May 13, 2007 - Underway to the Galapagos

Happy Mother's Day to our moms, our friends who are recent moms, and friends who are moms-to-be (one of whom just found out today - Congrats!).

The lightening storm that kept us entertained, and not a little concerned for our electronics, during dinner last night, lasted late into the evening. We woke to overcast skies and discovered that the wind had shifted in the night. We weren't comfortable being on a lee shore with such unsettled weather, so we took turns keeping watch during the squalls. As the rain turned to drizzle, Sten made pickles out of the first casualty of our fresh provisioning. The carrots were quickly turning to mush, so he sauted them and mixed them with ginger and sesame seeds and orange zest. In the meantime, I downloaded updated weather files and checked them against the advice in Jimmy Cornell's World Cruising Routes.

We decided that rather than taking the rhumb line route to the Galapagos, which would result in us motoring into head winds, we're going to head south southwest for two days, then west southwest for the rest of the trip. Hopefully we'll wind up on a reach into the Galapagos.

Just one of the many giant logs floating through the anchorage.

When the rain let up, we went exploring Isla San Jose a bit in the dinghy. The lush coastline is dotted with caves and beaches, some white, some tan and some lava black.

But it is the teaming waters that hold our interest. After the barrenness of the Caribbean, the Pacific Coast of Panama seems all the more alive.

As we departed Las Perlas, we had to take a slight detour when tuna started busting all around us. The chartplotter's record of our path as we chased the tuna around the anchorage makes it look like there was a drunken sailor at the wheel.

I swear, it was just cold medicine in that bottle.

Sten was all business chasing the tuna. After his first cast, he decided that he didn't like the rod he was using. After one cast with the next rod, he decided the lure had to go. A quick lure change, and he was back on the bow casting into the turbulent water. A half dozen casts later, he was hooked up and hauling in dinner. That's my husband. I'm so proud of him.

As he cleaned the fish, I brought us back on course and set the jib. As we raised the mainsail, rays were jumping out of the water all around us. Then Sten noticed two marlin greyhounding. He counted 6 jumps out of the water.

As we sailed into the sunset, we were joined by a pod of dolphins surfing our bow wake. After twenty minutes, they moved on. Just as they were leaving us, another pacific blue marlin jumped out of the water, just off our bow. And again, and again he sliced out of the water, twisting in the air, only to crash back into the sea on his back, a dozen times in all. What an amazing end to the day, and what a promising start to a passage.

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