Visiting Isla Isabela in the Galápagos Archipelago

Cruising Lifestyle (continued)

Marcie and David preparing the dinghy for the ride back to the boat. I took this picture at the wet landing by the beach bar/restaurant on the day that I went on the long and enjoyable beach walk.   Here the roles are reversed as I stay on the boat and Marcie and David make a run to shore. While cruising, you use the dinghy just like you might use the family station wagon at home.

While we were cruising around in our dinghy looking at boobies, penguins, and sea-lions, we met the Danish couple in their dinghy heading back to their boat.  

Friday, April 16, 2004 (Day 19 in the Galápagos Archipelago)

This is the day we went on the reef shark trail, but we also had some chores to do. David wanted to purchase some fuel for the boat, and like at Isla Santa Cruz, fuel is available but the logistics are a little difficult. Marcie had arranged with Richar to procure some diesel, plus some drinking water. Although Nine of Cups has a watermaker, we don't use it in the harbor because the sensitive filtration membranes can get damaged by the kind of pollution typically found in harbors.

Early in the morning we went ashore and dropped off four five-gallon diesel jugs and four five-gallon water jugs with Richar. Later in the afternoon, Marcie and David went ashore to pick up the jugs and pay Richar. The water was actually collected as rainwater which may have become contaminated, so Marcie wanted the water chlorinated (by adding a little Clorox while the water is in the jugs). Although the chlorine kills any germs, it also imparts an off-taste like over-processed city water. By comparison, the water produced by the boat's watermaker is absolutely first-class, pure and tasty.

Sunday, April 18, 2004 (Day 21 in the Galápagos Archipelago)

Today was a lazy day. We'll be leaving soon so we need to start stocking-up on provisions. Marcie and David dinghied ashore early to drop off a provisioning list with Richar. We asked for various fruits and vegetables that are locally grown, and Richar knows the best places to get them. Other than that small trip, everybody stayed aboard.

I spent a lot of time writing in my journal which was a few days behind. I also finished reading Angela's Ashes, a terrific autobiography about the author's dirt-poor childhood growing up in Ireland. It was very well-written and a real page-turner, and in fact had won a Pulitzer Prize and had been made into a movie. When you read about the misery that other people have suffered through (where children starved to death), it makes you realize how fortunate you've been. A lot of it is just fate—you can't control when or where you're born, or to whom.

For our afternoon snack Marcie made her famous chocolate brownies. Store-bought brownies usually include vegetable oil and eggs, but Marcie uses mayonnaise instead. It sounds a little weird, but mayonnaise after all is just vegetable oil and eggs. When cruising, it's easier to lay-in a long-term supply of mayonnaise (which keeps when unopened) as opposed to eggs or even oil which can spoil.

The island's supply ship was anchored in the deeper water of the harbor and throughout the day they unloaded mixed cargo and ferried it ashore in small barges. At one point, a barge returned to the ship piled high with empty propane tanks. Earlier in our visit, we had seen a small tanker deliver bulk fuel; they barged a big fuel tank out to the tanker where it was filled and returned to shore. Late in the afternoon, the gravel ship backed away from the panga dock and departed, slowly maneuvering through the shallows using several pangas as tugboats to nudge the ship this way or that way. The pangas had earlier placed several buoys to define the very narrow channel of deeper water. (Panga is the local term for a small outboard-powered fishing skiff.)

For dinner, Marcie made teriyaki chicken which we ate using chopsticks. One thing's for sure, we'll never starve on this boat, not as long as Marcie runs the galley. Despite the good food, I've actually lost weight, since I stay away from junk food and super-sized portions.

The big ship is the landing craft that delivered road-paving gravel to Puerto Villamil; they are now departing and passing through the anchorage. The name of the ship is El Morro, and on the side it says Gobierno Provincial De Galápagos which is the official name of the Galápagos government. In the foreground you can see a barge being propelled by a panga; the barge is piled high with propane tanks that they're bringing to the supply ship, at anchor in the deep-water section of the harbor.   Speaking of the supply ship, here it is, rolling gently in the swell. The name on the ship is Marina 91; you can see a barge tied-up alongside.

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