We had a terrific Day 1 of our passage from Bahia de Caraquez Ecuador to the Galapagos. Sand bar pilot Pedro came aboard at about 8 am, we untied from both mooring anchors, and we were off at last, after our 6 month stay at anchor there. Felt great to be underway as Pedro directed us through the shallows at the river mouth. Shallowest on the depth sounder was 6.9 feet. Bravo draws 6'8". Do the math!
Once over the bar Pedro stepped onto his waiting launch, and we were outta there!
Winds were forecast to be very light on this passage, and we motored for the first few hours. Now every boater knows that a first rule of boats is that they need to keep the ocean out of the boat. So it was more than a bit disturbing when we heard the large emergency bilge pump come on. What the f&%$ ??? Checking the bilge showed that indeed, we were taking on water fast. This is so not good!!! A quick check of the stuffing box (the hopefully watertight joint where the drive shaft between the engine and propeller exits the boat) had opened up it's lock nut, and water was streaming in around the shaft. The engine was shut off, and the nut was quickly tightened.....no worries!!!
At last the wind came up to the 5-10 knot range, on an angle of around 50 degrees. We hoisted sails, and had an absolutely perfect first day's sail. Wind built to 10-15 knots in the evening, and by midnight we even tucked in a reef as our apparent wind was in the high teens, as we made 7 knot speed right for the Galapagos!!! Truly a magical nights sailing. And with Emily and Kevin joining us for the trip, we all had a really luxurious nights sleep, as our watches were 2 hours on, 6 off. Hard to beat!!!
Morning saw us throwing out the fishing lines again (no action yesterday, but hope springs eternal!!!) Within 3 minutes we had a sailfish on one rod, but he snapped the 50 lb test line before we could lighten the drag. Shortly after we had a 30 lb dorado on the other rod, and Kevin masterfully brought him to the boat. He's now filleted and in the freezer (the dorado, that is), short the tasty chunk that made its way into our fish taco lunch. Total for day 1, 142 miles. A great first 24 hours, about 450 miles to go...