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


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Dog days in the Galapagos

Well, the doldrums have hit us here in the Galaps.....we've been here for about two months now, and are itchy to get sailing for French Polynesia.  Only problem is the wind.....ain't none!  All of our online weather prediction models show a vast greasy spot from here to about 400 miles south of here....that's a long way to motor to find the breeze.  But wind or no wind, we plan on heading out by the end of this week.  Lot's of projects to cross off the list yet, but we're making good progress.

Sea lions guard our dinghy...thanks, ladies!
So, what have we been up to lately?  Well, it's been a while since the last post, so we've got a bit of ground to cover!  Hang on, we'll be all over the board with this post!!!












Isla Isabella Fiesta.  

Celebrating 40 years of the incorporation of the island (where we are still at anchor).  Great fun, pretty much the whole island turns out.  A rodeo, dances, horse racing through town, bike races, a marathon....all Galapagos style.  Ya gotta love it!!

Poor kid in the blue shirt got a plastic spoon....We called FOUL but nobody listened!!!

#3 doing a bit of sky watching!

The big boys came out to play!


 
After the games, it was time for the bucking broncos.  Most only stayed on for 1-2 seconds....Saw a few w/ arms in slings afterward!  Ouchh.....Your faithful Bravo crew wasn't even tempted!!!














Guy on the right must've borrowed big brother's bike!!!
The next day it was time for the races...marathon, bikes, and horses.  5 guys on mixed breed steeds for the bike road race, and a few kids doing some laps of the town plaza for the kids race.  "Ya run what ya brung" as the saying goes.  Definitely an unusual race, but a fun one. 








The grand finale was the horse races.  Horse racing, Galapagos style, is a wild and wooly event, right down the main street of town...dogs in the road, no helmets (of course!), cheering fans crowding into the street.  Macho caballeros strutting their stuff.  Great fun (except for the poor dog that got killed running under the thundering hooves).  Wow!


Lots of pre race machismo and trash talkin'







Gloating in the winners circle



Provisioning for the passage to French Polynesia...

Here on Isla Isabela it can be a bit of a struggle to get Bravo stocked up for the coming 3-4 week passage.  Stores are very small, and supplies vary depending on when the ship arrives.  We've enjoyed making weekly runs to a local farm, where farmer Silvio walks us around and points with his machete at whatever is freshest.....You want eggplant, tomatos, onions, peppers, papaya, cantaloupe, pineapples???  How about basil or cilantro?  This guy's got 'em.  And it doesn't get much fresher.  You just have no clue what he'll have till you arrive.  Typical tab is $10-15 for a mountain of freshies...  Always a fun trip.  


Nicole from Bella Star keeps her eyes on the prize of a tasty papaya.

Silvio hacks loose a pineapple.....never tasted sweeter.....


 Getting our propane tanks filled here has been a bit of an adventure as well.  There is no central tank here on the island.  Everyone uses standard tanks which come in by freighter....when empty, you simply exchange for another.  Of course, these tanks don't fit our boats....thus we need to buy one of the tanks and fill our own via gravity, and some jury rigged hose and fittings.  Kids, don't try this at home, but it worked great!!!
















CQ Contest.....CQ Contest.....CQ Contest




You can take the sailor out of the geek, but its tough to take the geek out of the sailor.  Most of you know that Adam (K7ST) is a geek at heart, and a long time ham radio afficionado.   A couple of weeks ago was the annual ARRL DX Contest, where U.S. hams try to speak to as many hams in as many countries as possible in 48 hours.  As Adam had received permission to operate in Ecuador, he figured, "why not put Galapagos, a part of Ecuador, on the air for the test?"  Setting up a small portable vertical antenna on the beach was a snap, and K7ST/HC8 (portable Galapagos) was on the air.  I was the rarest of rare countries, as I was the only station active in the contest from this country (Galapagos counts as a separate country for contest scores).  Great fun indeed, as huge pileups of hams were furiously calling for a contact.  I managed to work about 1500 for the weekend for a very part time effort.  Much different experience from contesting in the US.....Yee hah, I was hooked!!!




 
K7ST/HC8 station, iguana's eye view!

 

 

 

Time to head to sea!

The building cruiser bolus!
 As you may recall, when we arrived on Isla Isabella nearly two months ago, we were the only cruising sailboat here on the island, and one of only 2 or 3 in the entire Galapagos archipelago.  And it remained that way for the next 2-3 weeks.  It was a pretty sweet time around here.....we got to know many of the locals, as we were a bit of a novelty.  Welll.........the novelty has worn off!  The Galapagos is a major point of departure of boats for the South Pacific, and this is the time when they start the journey.  The anchorage here has been steadily filling up with boats, and we now have nearly 20.  All are friendly, and all share our anticipation of the 3000 mile voyage ahead.   Lots of projects going on, people up their masts for rigging inspections, tanks being topped off.  The excitement builds daily as we wait for the wind.  But it's a very different vibe with so many cruisers descending on a tiny island.  Stores are selling out of provisions, the authorities are getting cranky.  It's time to leave the bolus behind us!!!  Hopefully we'll leave on Wednesday or Thursday.  So, with luck, our next blog post will be while underway!

For us, preparing to leave Latin America is indeed bitter sweet.  We are very excited to be getting underway on our longest passage yet, bound for what by all accounts is truly a tropical paradise...French Polynesia.  But we've had an extraordinary 2-1/2 years here in Central and South America, exploring the various countries and cultures, and making many good friends along the way.  As our Spanish improved, we've enjoyed getting to know some really wonderful folks, from Mexico to Patagonia, and participate in their lives in ways we had never done on our brief vacation visits in past years.  We'll miss the warmth and hospitality of these people, and eagerly look forward to our return in the future.  We know we'll be back.



Now its time to break out Rosetta Stone, and learn a bit of French before our next landfall!!!










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