Sunday, May 27, 2007

May 26, 2007 - Santa Cruz, Galapagos

Sten got to go surfing today, so all is right with the world. We spent the day at Tortuga Bay, which features a long white sand beach, sand the consistency of confectioner's sugar. The breeze was on shore, so most of the sets closed out, but he got in a few good rides while I played in the shallows and just beyond a pile of black lava rocks, a sea lion slept under a bush.

We have spent the past few days getting cleared in and then taking care of business so that we could be ready to leave whenever we wanted to or if we should need to. We took on fuel, did laundry, visited the dentist (a sweet little lady who spoke not a lick of English) for our 6 month cleanings, and reprovisioned. Sten got a haircut (high and tight), and I found a spot to swap some books. The only item left on our list is to top off our second propane tank, which we'll take care of Monday.

Yellowfin lined up at the fish market
A frigate bird diving on scraps
The food here is ridiculously cheap. We both had a steak dinner last night for $3.50 each. The night before it was fish for $3.00 each. Restaurants are going to be prohibitively expensive in Tahiti, and we have a month long passage ahead of us where we are going to have to cook every meal that we eat, so we're taking advantage of the cheap eats here. Sten keeps talking about buying fish at the fish market and grilling it up, but I can't see the point. I'm considering giving in just so that he gets it out of his system.

When we arrived, we dropped anchor right in front of Phoenix. It was wonderful to see familiar faces in an unfamiliar place. After setting our stern anchor (a first for us, and we were mighty proud to get it on the first try) to keep us from rolling in the swell that piles into this open harbor, we had dinner onboard Phoenix and traded stories about our passages. The next day we came back from town to find Mata'irea rolling in the swell. Sten pulled in the rope anchor rode that was hanging limply off of our stern and discovered that the shackle connecting the chain and rope sections of rode had come undone. He dove in and found our anchor right away, which was no mean feat, considering that he was free diving in 30 feet of water. He ran a line through the chain and swam back to the boat with it, and in short order had the two sections of rode reconnected. A 44lb Delta and 30 feet of 5/16th's chain would have been an expensive addition to our "lost overboard" list. We were relieved to get it back so quickly and easily, particularly so as we watched a professional dive crew spend hours in a futile search for another boat's anchor.

I got called out by one of our readers for kvetching about our passage. And I quote: "4kts in a headwind beats "O" kts in a staff meeting!" Truer words were never typed. When I complain about stuff, it isn't with the intention of making anyone feel sorry for us. I understand that we are truly blessed to be doing something like this at this time in our lives. I'm just trying to paint a balanced picture of our experience. Sometimes it sucks. But then there are days like today that make it all worth while.

No comments: