About Us

Welcome to our blog, describing our voyage aboard Bravo, a Kelly Peterson 46 sailboat with homeport in Seattle, Washington. We headed south in 2010, destined for Mexico and beyond. Cheers, Adam and Cindi

"As for me, I am tormented by an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts." -Herman Melville, 1844

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Adventures continue in the Galapagos

The 4 of us (Cindi, Adam, and friends Kevin and Emily) have continued to rack up the Galapagos miles, as well as the critter count!  For watching wildlife in their natural habitat, totally unafraid of humans, it's hard to imagine a place coming close.  We've now spent time on the 3 major islands permitted on our autografo, Islas San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, and now Isabela.  The 3 are nice easy 40 mile day sails apart...perfect for hopping from one to the next.  Because of the protected status of the entire archipelago, we must take guided day tours to various snorkeling, diving, and critter watching sites.  Can get a bit pricey, but we haven't been disappointed yet on any of them.  Cindi will write up the diving in a separate blog post, as I haven't been able to join in as I continue to nurse my hurt shoulder.  Update is that it seems to be starting to heal, and I'm gaining some ability to lift it (with the other arm) without pain.  The sling is still on, but hopefully a few more weeks will see it right. 

The primary port cities on each of the 3 large islands are quite different from one another.  Puerto Ayora, on Santa Cruz is the largest in the Galapagos, with about 12,000 residents.  With a good infrastructure of various stores, dive shops, tour operators, banks, and internet hot spots, it provided a good base to resupply.  We will also stop back there to prepare for our hop across the pacific to French Polynesia in about 1 month. 

Isabela, our current island, is by far the largest of the Galapagos in terms of land area, but Puerto Vilamil, the main city (and our anchorage) only has about 2000 inhabitants.  Supply ships call here just once per month, and the town has a great laid back sleepy ambience.  Whenever it rains, they run a road grader around town to smooth out the mud holes...gotta love it.  Internet and email access is a challenge, but we love it here.  (unable to access our email site...will keep trying!!)  Iguanas and sea lions rule the place.  They swim by the boat all the time (yesterday a baby sea lion got on deck, but quickly dove back in when Cindi surprised him)  We're a bit early for the mass of cruising boats who will be heading here on their way to the South Pacific, so we've been the only cruisers on any of the islands.  Muy tranquillo, we'll probably spend a couple of more weeks here!!!  

Monthly supply day.  Small ship and barges ferry goods from off lying supply freighter (behind the tour boats...Bravo on left, over middle of the blue ferry ship)
Isabela church, religion Galapagos style!!!

Nice stained glass.....iguana, penguin, and booby.   This church has it's priorities straight!!!

Sea lion and Adam compare notes on flipper care

Emily gets up close and personal with a favorite iguana.

Iguana tracks everywhere on the beaches

"So these two iguanas walk into a bar....."

Iguana swimming alongside Bravo

Kevin and Emily flew out yesterday to Quito, on their way back to Seattle.  It was terrific to have them join us for the past 2 weeks.  Before leaving, though, we did some great exploring together.  One of our favorite tours was by boat to Los Tuneles, the tunnels.  ($50/pp with Isabela Diving)  An enormous eerie labrynth of volcanic tunnels, bridges, and water pathways, we did some hiking ashore before jumping in the water for some great snorkeling around the area, swimming with white tipped sharks, lots of turtles, rays, and heaps of fish.  It's apparently mating season for the sea turtles, and we were often surrounded by happy couples engaged in their version of the horizontal cha cha for hours of tortugal bliss!  The females will lay their eggs on favorite beaches later in March.

Randy reptiles enjoy their day to play

Blue footed boobies

And their feet are VERY blue.....more so than those we saw in Mexico

Sally Lightfoot crab

Spotted Eagle Ray

Another tour, right next to anchored Bravo, was on the volcanic reef of Tintoreras.  Walking around the islets for a couple of hours we came upon literally heaps of iguanas (the beach is one of their favorite breeding beaches), birds including blue footed boobies, oyster catchers, frigate birds, and sharks and sea turtles.  A perfect way to spend an afternoon ($25/pp)


Booby with two Galapagos penguins, the second smallest species in the world

 Sorry if you guys are getting tired of iguana portraits...the guys are just too cool to leave out!!!


Big island activity a couple of days ago was watching a crew try to move a wrecked boat up the road to its final resting place several miles away, to be cut into scrap.  There is no trailer big enough here in the Galapagos.  After several hours with 3 earth movers and one road grader it had moved a hundred yards or so.  There it still sits!!  Ahhh....island life, we love it!!

Bravo, out.....

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