Visiting Isla Isabela in the Galápagos Archipelago

Cruising Lifestyle (continued)

Jelly, the ship's cat. In the left-hand picture, she's sleeping; in the right-hand picture, she's thinking about sleeping.

Here's lookin' at you, kid!  

Monday, April 19, 2004 (Day 22 in the Galápagos Archipelago)

It rained a little overnight, and it was very cloudy this morning. Today was a miscellaneous chore day.

Now that the supply ship has distributed its cargo ashore, stores should be stocked-up with goods. We went ashore reasonably early to buy provisions and got a number of items, but we'll need to make another trip tomorrow for more. We also went to the telecommunications building for internet access. The system was working fine, but although it was free (as a grand opening special) the connection speed was very slow. I went to the telephone room to try to call Mom, but despite numerous attempts the call never went through. Perhaps the busy Monday morning telephone traffic on the mainland has tied-up the international circuits. We stopped at La Ballena Azul to drop off our laundry and told them we'll pick it up tomorrow.

Back on the boat, Marcie made fresh, honest-to-goodness potato salad (which was delicious) with tuna sandwiches. I goofed off the rest of the day reading, taking a nap, and looking at pictures.

Before retiring for the evening, I sat in the cockpit while we ran the engine to charge the house batteries. Some distance offshore, we saw the running lights of a boat that appeared to be heading for the harbor. I thought it was unusual and a little daring for a boat to head into a reef-infested harbor in the dark—one mistake and your boat is on the rocks.

By the time the boat reached the harbor, it was clear that it was actually a small ship. By looking at the ship's profile in the binoculars, I could make out a deck gun on the foredeck, so it must be a military ship. Once they arrived, they moored themselves to the big yellow floating buoy between the small-boat anchorage and the deep-water harbor. The crew lowered an inflatable dinghy, then several people including perhaps two women descended a ladder and got in the dinghy. The dinghy slowly made its way through the pitch-black anchorage to the panga dock, where the people went ashore and were met by a vehicle (we could see the headlights). I thought the whole episode was a puzzling mystery on an otherwise extremely routine night.

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