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

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Diving in the Galapagos

Hey there....Cindi here with our first Galapagos dive report.  Sorry that this is a bit delayed, but we had been waiting for some underwater photos to arrive from a fellow diver...never showed up, so, sorry, no pix.  Although Adam was sidelined with his mangled shoulder, Kevin, Emily, and I continued to dive at each island we've called upon.  In Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island we chatted with several dive companies and finally found a great one, Macarron Divers, to take us to a highly recommended location.........Gordon Rocks.

Gordon Rocks is usually reserved for more advanced divers but when the dive master learned that we'd just been diving at El Leon Dormido (The Sleeping Lion), it was "no problema".

Bright and early, their boat picked us up right from Bravo, and headed to our dive site.  We were joined by a German traveler, Steffi who had just returned from several days on a live-aboard dive cruise.  Although she had done three dives per day in very cool locations, there wasn't time for Gordon Rocks so she took this day trip with us.

After our check dive to test gear and weights, we headed down, down, down to 100 feet.  Gordon Rocks is a volcanic islet with much of the land underwater.  It is semi-circular shaped with several underwater pinnacles that are home to sea urchins, wildly colorful reef fish, eels, spiny lobsters, and sea stars in every nook and cranny.  We saw a stone fish (venom is more deadly than a cobra's) that was completely camoflaged within the rocks as well.  We were soon joined by sea turtles, manta rays, galapagos sharks, white-tipped and black-tipped reef sharks and scalloped hammerhead sharks.  At one point, there were hammerheads above us, in front of us and an adult with a baby swimming on the bottom.  Sharks were literally everywhere!!!  For those of you who know me (Cindi), you know that for years, my fear of sharks was my primary reason for not becoming certified to dive.  Amazingly, we have seen sharks of one sort of another on almost all of our dives.......I haven't been munched yet... seems to be a good way to overcome the fear of these awe inspiring critters!

The second dive of the day was at another area of Gordon Rocks and was equally spectacular.  Our dive guide was great at spotting and pointing out critters for us. 

A few days later, Bravo saddled up and headed to Puerto Villamil on Isabella Island, where we remain today.  Here we arranged to have Isabella Divers boat pick us up from Bravo, and headed out to Isla Tortuga, about 30 minutes from our anchorage.  Like all Galapagos islands, this one was volcanic in origin and so the porous rocky reefs were full of colorful wildlife, similar to our other dives.  No sharks on this dive but we had sea lions and sea turtles to swim with, and I saw my first sea horse (caballito del mar) in the wild!!  Very cool. 

Diving tomorrow with friends from other boats Spruce and Mystic Moon, at Quatro Hermanos site......more to follow!

Between dives, we observed the giant frigate birds in their mating season.  The males have a large inflatable sack in their neck that they puff out to attract the females.  The sack is bright red and shaped like a valentine heart....how romantic!  You could see the red pouches dotting the island as they sat around looking studly and cool. Their stud bubble was burst in a hurry when they tried to fly with the sack inflated.  The usually graceful birds became completely awkward (and probably lost their sex appeal!).

At any rate, the diving continues, though Adam's left flipper is fairly badly damaged.  He had an MRI while he was back in the USA last week.  When the orthopod opened the images, he hesitated for a moment, and just shook his head and said "Whoa"......not a good sign!!!  Turns out that one of the 2 tendons that connect the bicep to the shoulder is completely severed.  And the socket, made of cartilage called the labrum, is badly torn as well.  Surgery is clearly the answer, but we simply don't have the time for the surgery and more important, the extensive rehab therapy now, as we'll be on our way to French Polynesia in about 2 weeks.  When we arrive in New Zealand in November, he plans on having the work done back in Seattle.....hopefully it'll be ok.

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