Visiting Isla Isabela in the Galápagos Archipelago

Beach Walk (continued)

Some houses along the beach.

Two children playing on the beach.   This dog started to wade out into the surf. I don't know why—there wasn't anyone out there.

Meanwhile, Marcie had started preparing Easter dinner, consisting of a canned ham (which looked like Spam but tasted much better), fresh chunky mashed squash, and steamed broccoli. Before dinner was ready, the wind shifted as rains moved down from the mountain. Our location in the anchorage had been quite comfortable, but as all the boats swung into the fresh breeze, the geometry changed and our location suddenly became compromised. We wound up swinging very close to a sailboat behind us and a local fishing boat in front of us; the man on the sailboat came on deck and complained to David that we were too close. David at first announced that we would move the boat, but with brisk winds and approaching darkness that would have been risky. Instead, he decided we would stand watches all night to monitor the situation and we'd move the boat in the morning. We started watches immediately and wound up having Easter dinner in the damp cockpit, dimly lit by the anchor light above the boom gallows. Nevertheless, Easter dinner was delicious.

My 8:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight watch was a little dicey since the wind varied in both speed and direction. Combined with the tidal current flowing through the anchorage, this caused boats to swing this way and that way. Due to the varying effects of wind and tide, sometimes adjacent boats would point in different directions, greatly complicating the geometry. Twice I had to call David when it looked like we would hit the fishing boat in front of us. It was a long watch and I was glad when David finally relieved me.

Monday, April 12, 2004 (Day 15 in the Galápagos Archipelago)

This morning, we got up early to move the boat during the calm of the morning. It had rained several times last night (though not heavily) and everything on deck was wet. While we were preparing to get under way, we saw a big school of fish swirling around in the water near the boat. There were hundreds of silvery fish from 6" to 10" long. I saw a sea-lion swim towards the fish, and the fish surged away en masse with the trailing edge of the school appearing almost as a solid line. We moved the boat without any difficulty although the new location wasn't as comfortable since it was more exposed to ocean swell.

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