Thursday, April 8, 2004 (Day 11 in the Galápagos Archipelago)
We are planning to make a detour as we sail from Isla Santa Cruz to Isla Isabela. By the most direct route the trip could be an easy day-sail, but our detour will add enough mileage to make it an overnight trip. Even so, we'll need to leave early today so we arrive at the next anchorage well before dusk tomorrow. The next anchorage at Puerto Villamil has some reefs and rocks that we must avoid, so we need the good visibility provided by broad daylight.
So why the detour? Well, Marcie and David have offered me a real treat: experiencing an equator crossing at sea. This is a relatively rare event and since we're so close to the equator (just over 50 nautical miles), we all decided it would be a worthwhile detour. Once I cross the equator, by long nautical tradition my status will change from polliwog (someone who hasn't crossed the equator) to shellback (someone who has). I'm really looking forward to the experience.
To accommodate the extra mileage we planned to leave early, between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. I had set my alarm for 5:30 a.m. but I was already awake—in fact, I don't think I slept at all last night. Due to the new winds, it was very rolly in the anchorage, plus I was uncomfortable from being hot and sweaty (and dirty).
We had kept an anchor watch last night, but by the time we started to leave the winds were calm and all the boats had returned to their usual positions. We didn't have any real problems raising the anchors, but a stern anchor is always difficult. It must be retrieved by hand and is very heavy; David handled it carefully to make sure he didn't scratch the hull, rail, or deck. There was considerable swell this morning, so the boat was rolling and pitching when David had to carry the anchor to its stowing place on the mast pulpit.
With the anchors stowed we motored out of the anchorage and Puerto Ayora slowly receded into the distance, while new adventures loomed on the horizon, at least figuratively speaking.
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