The GalapagosReport Abuse
The Galapagos, my enchanted islands
I always wanted to go to the Galapagos, and all of a sudden we were 25 miles off the coast of San Cristobal. I could not believe it!
We had left Costa Rica 6 days earlier to find a mixed bag of weather: no wind, contrary winds and even a day of sailable wind....
When we entered the harbor, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, I saw seals and I shouted to Duncan, “Look, look, fast, a seal!” Little did I know that the whole harbor was full of seals. We couldn’t even leave our dinghy in the water for a while, because the seals would climb in it and sink it eventually by their weight….
The Galapagos Islands are amazing. The people are very friendly, everybody says hi on the street to everybody. They ask you how you are doing and where you are from and actually wait for an answer. I like that attitude.
The animals are very friendly too! We had a tour around the island and saw the big tortoises. They have such funny faces that show a lot of character. Duncan said they look like E.T.
The first time I saw a marine iguana, it was because I almost stepped on it. They are black with some red color here and there and they lay on the black volcanic stones. Sometimes they jump in the water and swim! We’re used to the green iguanas from Curaçao and they are very scared of people (and that is a good thing, because they end up frequently in a soup!). These ones expect you to step aside!
It was possible to make a tour to Espanola island. Inhabited by many animals, but no humans. I was thrilled we were going. Maybe I could see a glimpse of an Albatross. (I have a thing with birds, I just think they're magnificent, and the albatross happens to be my most favorite bird....)
Well, Espanola was certainly the highlight of my years of cruising. Seals and iguanas lay together on the beach. Blue Footed Boobies were everywhere. They looked at us with a face that said, “What kind of weird bird are you?” We could get really close to them; a meter away was no problem. They have the most gorgeous feet, a lovely turquoise color. It was mating time and I can imagine that their feet must be an attraction for each other. They courted each other by lifting one foot, then the other, they were dancing almost, and they whistled at the same time. I was impressed, and so were the females! I think Duncan can learn something from that, haha.
And then, I saw my albatross. Far away, but I was excited. Half an hour later we had to step aside for the albatrosses, they were all over the place and we could get really close to them. I was beyond myself. We saw them running off the cliff and flying away with their big wings, a span of about 2 meters. This is what I have been waiting for my whole life. To be so close to nature. As close as I could ever get, I imagined.
We swam a few times, once in a cave with seals. The weather was lovely, but, the Humboldt Current runs through these islands, and the water is freezing. We did see huge turtles that were in a cleaning station: a place on the bottom of a bay where they sit for a while, so other sea creatures can clean the parasites off them. Their body size must have been a meter and a half for sure.
After 3 weeks we sailed on to Isabela, and anchored in Puerto Villamil. We had no problems anywhere with customs and immigration. And speaking Spanish was certainly an advantage!
We stayed there also for 3 weeks. We had penguins and seals swimming around our boat every day. I was in heaven!
With other sailors we made a tour around the island and saw what impact the volcanoes have on these islands. A barren landscape that looks like melted chocolate….
I waited my whole life to see these islands and I can tell you, they lived up to my expectations!
One more thing: Do you know the song “Albatross” by Fleetwood Mac?
Listen to it and you can see the albatross flying….
Posted by: Irene (and sorry if my English is not up to scratch; I have a reason for this: I'm Dutch....)