This is one of the sting rays that just floats by rather than jumping in and out of the water!
April 01, 2006 Sat
Neither Jason nor I slept that well. It was the first night out on our boat with new people doing watches. I think we just wanted to make sure everything was going ok. It was also very rocky. I was wondering why the rocking never bothered me before when I was sleeping on the boat. Lord knows we have been through some seriously rocky nights. I figured it out. Jason and I were never sleeping together so I had the whole bed to get into a comfortable position so that the rocking did not hurt my back. We ended up sleeping on an angle to help my situation. Jason's was on the 6am watch. I ended up getting up at 7:30 to hang out with him. It was nice to have some alone time with him. I made him some eggs too he was starving! He was so excited when I arrived. I guess a big whale was hanging out around our boat. He kept hearing this loud noise and it was the whale coming up for air. He caught it all on video tape!! I can't wait to watch it. I heard the whale but he never surfaced again while I was there. We had a super nice morning. After I finished my watch, which was after Jason's, we laid down for cuddle time and dozed a bit. Again, it was nice to be able to do that. There are definite advantages to having other people on the boat. For instance we only have 2, 3 hour watches now. That gives us a lot of free time. Of course there are disadvantages as well, but all seems well on Monkey's Business. Our avacados were very very ripe this morning so I made an avacado and tomato salad to go on our sandwiches for lunch. Yummy. Jason and I also watched a movie together before Jason's night watch at 6pm. I defrosted some ground beef for hamburgers for dinner. We caught something on the fishing line, but it somehow bit threw the line and got away. We were so excited to have fish again!! Guess we'll have to settle for fried plantains, salad, and hamburgers. It was all so yummy. Oliver made the salad. He was laughing when he noticed my vinigar was a basil honey and was made in France. One my shift the radar would go off and then I would turn off the alarm and reset the watchmen for another 10min. After 2 cycles of 10 minutes of the alarm not going off, it would suddenly go off again. It went off every other or every two times I would reset it. Not much rest, I had to constantly be looking out. It was a little hazy out as well. I enjoyed it though being out there at night with so many stars..
Anne on her watch handstearing Monkey's Business
April 02, 2006 Sun
It was nice to sleep with Jason again. Tonight he and Oliver are switching shifts and Jason will be after me instead of before me. I will be going to bed alone this night and will be getting up before Jason. I woke up early again today and joined Jason on his morning shift. It was nice out. We switched up the sails and moved nicely. Durning my shift, the sails started making alot of noise. We decided to try and put them at wings. Oliver and Jason did most of the work. I just held the line or helped helm. The ride was nice and calm after that. I was even able to do most of my pilates excercises. I tried to make a simple white bread today and unfortunately, my yeast must have been bad. My loaves didn't really rise much. Hopefully it won't be so terrible. Luckily, I brought back all of those packets from the states. Looks like I will be breaking into those tomorow. Anne is making dinner today. She uses a red curry paste to make her curry. I can't wait to try it. I love curry dishes. I have been working on the So Duko all day today on and off. Thanks Megalicious, those are addicting. So far we have great winds. We hear that the dull drums are ahead of us, but we are hopeful that we will surpass any dull drums!! My bread was rising very slowly. I didn't bake it until Jason was coming on duty at midnight. We heated up the oven and Jason cooked it. Of course, he insisted on cooking it then rather than waiting another hour or so. Hmmm I wonder why? Anne was nicely suprised when she was on duty to have warm bread.
April 03, 2006 Mon
We woke up this morning and all had fresh baked bread. It was supposed to be a simple white loaf bread but ended up being better since it didn't rise all the way. It was good. A little nutella and wala. I did pilates again today which was nice. I can't do all the excercises but most of them. Jason and I sat on the front of the boat playing cards and doing so duko today it was nice.
April 04, 2006 Tues
Today was a nice day. We had good winds all day. Then about 7pm the winds completely died down. We were officially in the dull drums. We were still moving the current was pushing us along but we were spinning in a circle. The seas were still big as well. I thought dull drums, no wind and seas like glass, I was sadly mistaken. We decided to turn on the engine, we had to charge the freezer anyway, and motor sail for a while on our correct course. I was on watch at 9pm and around 8 the winds picked back up. We were able to put up the sails and turn off the motor doing around 5 knotts. It was great. At one point we were actually going around 6 knotts. Jason was on duty after me. I stayed up and helped him put up the main sail as well. Now we were really going at 6 knotts. Jason came to bed at 3pm his shift was over. Around 4:30am we awoke to some rough seas and Anne calling for Jason. We went up on deck and there was lightening in the distance and the winds had really picked up. We decided to reef the main sail. We did some other maneuvering and sat on deck a while to make sure all was ok. The sun started to bring light to the night and we could see the lightening had stopped and there was no danger of a squall. We headed back to bed around 5:30.
April 05, 2006 Wed
Today my back was hurting pretty good so Anne finished the last 15 minutes of my shift and I went into my cabin and laid down on my bed to rest and watched the end of a movie I started several days ago, Vanity Fair. It is a great chick flick, if you like period pieces. Jason came down and laid in bed with me and we watched "Crash." It was good, not great but good. It was nice to spend some time together cuddling watching a movie. We had a few Oreo's that I brought back from the states. The are double stuffed mmmmm. They reminded me of a time at A basin at night by the bonfire during ski season. We had gone up in the totor and Dina came with us. We were hanging out by the fire when Jason started eating oreos. Dina and I wanted some so Jason gave us each one!! He would give us only one every 5 minutes or so and no more. He was the oreo gestapo. At the time it was funny and it makes me laugh still today. We had a nice day of sailing. Oliver and Jason somehow made up 2 more hand lines to put out so we now have 4 lines out for fish. We have not caught another fish since our tuna. It is getting depressing. We had on on the line but it somehow managed to break free and take our cedar plug with it. What a bummer. That cedar plug is the one lure that has gotton us the most fish. We thought that it was easier to catch fish in the Pacific. Luckily we have lots of food on board. I made some home made bread again today and some pasta with marinara sauce. It was yummy. We had olive oil with fresh parmesean for the bread as well. I love that. It is dark at night but we all eat on deck anyway with the little lantern as our only light. It is very challenging to eat!! Oliver was telling us that every sailer he has known motorsails everywhere. We were very suprised by that. We try not to motorsail as much as possible for two reasons: 1. we hate the noise and 2. it is very expensive. He also told us that most sailers still keep there coctail hour when on a long passage. While I do not think there is anything necessarily bad about having a drink while at sea, I think it would make me tired as well as less alert; therefore, my shift would be that much more difficult. I can see why people motorsail though. When you are doing 2.5 or 3 knots, the noise and price do not seem so terrible. My watch was wonderful tonight. It was so beautiful out. The little of the moon was showing and was orange. The seas were white caps so the water lit up with the phosphoressence. It was great. I made a chocolate pudding in the middle cake for dessert and for watch tonight. yummy. I can guess who will eat the most of it can you?
April 06, 2006 Thurs
On my shift today Anne was showing me this cool book she had from France. It was a statistics type book about the world. What tastes people have in different countries, whether they eat with utensils and what types of utensils, how much wine they drink, where different alcohale comes from, How sugar cane got to all the countries in the world and from what origins, which countries eat 1, 2, 3 meals a day, which countries snack or graze all day and so much more. It was very interesting. I can't wait until I learn enough French to be able to read it myself. Hopefully that won't be too long. I have been starting to listen to my french tapes again. We still have spanish in Galapagos and Easter Island but after those places it will be on to French and then english. It has been fun having Anne and Oliver on board. The days definitely fly by. I have yet to feel bored as well. Which seems to be the biggest complaint of sailers doing long crossings. We'll see how it is after the 20 plus days at sea. We seem to be laughing alot which is great. Anne saw another Whale on her duty today. I looked but missed it. I was bummed. That is 3 times I have missed the whales. At least I can watch the video of it. I made some cajun fries and roasted chicken for dinner tonight. It was yummy. Oliver made an amazing fruit salad with passion fruit, oranges, grapefruit, papaya, and pineapple. The winds were super light on my watch tonight at the beginning. About 45 minutes into my watch the winds really picked up, the were upwards of 16 knots. I had to put down the mizzen sail. It was nice to be able to do it myself. We were awoken by Anne at 5 am. there was a boat about 4 miles from us. It seemed to be a fishing boat. Anne said that it was 8 miles away and that it was getting closer and was following our same path. We were very happy she woke us up. It could be another pirate boat. We changed our course and waited to see what it would do. It did not follow us but kept on its same course. Phew. We went back to bed. Never a dull moment on a sailboat.
Oliver with two of the three yellow fin tunas we caught after crossing into the south pacific!!
The GPS showing us crossing the equator
April 07, 2006 Friday
Today we will cross the equator, from the north Pacific into the south pacific. In anticipation, Oliver made some garlic aoli, cut up some cheese and carrots and squeezed juice from oranges and pineapples so that I could make some pain killers (of course we grated the fresh nutmeg for the top as well). I made some homemade bread, 2 loaves of white bread. I was rushing to have it finished in time so that we could have a nice snack and toast for the equator. It is a very big deal we were informed by the Oliver and Anne. I love that about them. I had everything ready except the bread when we got to the equator so Jason turned around and went back over it to the North Pacific so that we could do it again. Over the equator again we went as we did we toasted with the pain killer. We video taped and it and took some pitures. We video taped the GPS showing us cross over!! We took some pitures of the four of us as well. After all of our photo ops and vidoe footage was completed, I put out what Oliver made as well as cracked olives, sundried tomatos, olive oil with parm cheese and black pepper for the bread and I roasted some garlic. It was fun. After we finished eating, drinking and laughing, Jason and I were on our way down the companion way to lay down before our shifts when our lines went wild!!! We haven't had one fish on the line since the skip jack we caught on our way out of Panama. Now we had two. We pulled one in and one escaped. We gave the yellow fin tuna a nice drink of gin, YES, you heard me right a YELLOW FIN TUNA! It was a huge yellow fin tuna!!! Yummy sushi fish! We took a picture of it and all of a sudden another line went, it was another yellow fin tuna. I went down stairs to lay down before my shift when I heard Anne yelling to me that we caught another one, a yellow fin tuna!! We were all laughing so hard. I guess all the fish are in the South Pacific!!! We do not have to worry about fish now for a few days. We have 3 yellow fin tunas to feast on!! We all watched "The Fifth Element" on Jason's shift. It was so funny. I hadn't seen it in a long time. I drank a sobe before my watch anticipating being tired. I did not sleep well the night before mixed with the pain killers from this afternoon, leaves me a sleepy monkey. One thing I love about our frenchies is that they are like us laughing all the time.
Laurel and Anne with the sushi they prepared from the yellow fin tuna's we caught.
April 08, 2006 Saturday
I was rushing to get some things done on the website before we uploaded it. Jason wanted all things done before we got into port so that all we had to do in the Galapagos is see things. We arrived and it was pretty crowded in the harbor. We anchored out next to Wind pony and Endangered Species and Jason went into town with Oliver to check us in. While the boys went to check us in, Anne showed me how to make sushi. We made all kinds of tuna sushi. It took us until after the boys came back to finish. It is a pretty time consuming project!! Well worth it though. It was incredible. I could have had it Sashimi style. We then hurried into town to check in at immigration and to check out the tours that we could take and hopefully get signed up. We found out limited information though, everyone was closing. We decided to check out the island tomorrow and pick out our tours on Monday. We stopped and had a few beers and headed back to the boat to have some dinner. Jason and Oliver made some seared tuna and left over pasta. It was so yummy. Jason ended up having a headache so we just decided to stay home tonight. Anne and Oliver went out so it was a nice evening for Jason and I.
Jason and Laurel in the volcano tunnel!
Monkey turns turtle?!
April 09, 2006 Sun
Got up today and went to church on the island. It was Palm Sunday so all the townspeople made these elaborate palms and they all walked in in front of the priest. It was really neat. I find on the islands it seems people actually sing and sing loud. They really enjoy mass by clapping and everyone shakes hands at the peace offering. People are all over the church shaking hands with everyone including the priests. It is nice. After mass, I met up with Jason, Anne, and Oliver. We went to the Darwin park. Which is really where the have the foundation and everyone studies. We saw baby turtles and big ones, and lizards. After this walking tour, we hired a taxi to take us on a tour of the island. We were going to see the turtles and the Volcanic tunnels. The taxi was $35 and a tour would have been at least $25 each. Oliver negotiated it. The taxi driver was great he walked with us everywhere and gave us information. It was great. We saw tons of turtles all different sizes up super close. We have alot of video footage of them. We also went to see the craters that were formed from the volcanos. When the ground just dropped away. I was trying to imagine what it would be like to have the ground just drop under you like that for so many feet. Craziness. We then went to the tunnels that were basically caves. These were formed from the lava that was all around and then water washed through them and cleared out the dirt. (Simple explanation). It was super cool. I video taped the whole walk through just about. It was the neatest thing so far. The turtles and the tunnel were on someones property. You ended up at a house afterwards. She only charged $4 to see all that. She had a turtle shell there for people to view and Oliver and I climbed inside to feel what it is like. It was funny. Our taxi driver was nice and we invited him to eat with us if he chose the place. we ended up going to this place that is only open on Sundays. They serve a typle Argentine assortment of grilled meat called pardillo (I may have it wrong I am rushing to get this updated for you all and no one is here to confirm my fogginess). We had beers and shared food. This place had a huge volleyball net and there was a group of men playing. they had all kinds of american games like billiards. I took some time to swing on the swings. We had fun. What an amazing day. We came back to the boat and changed and went out some more. We met a couple on the way back to our boat to change from Turkey. They are heading to New Zealand as well. On a much faster time frame since they are moving to Canada soon. We saw them again when we went out in the park with another couple from New Zealand. They were super nice as well and before we even had their names, she had run to get a pen and give us their email address so we could stay with them when we arrive to New Zealand. How super cool is that. Anne and Oliver showed up now as well and the six went to have some beers. We sat by the waterfront having a beer we purchased from the corner store (we are all budget travelers!!!) and sat around chatting. Two guys showed up that are crewing on another boat, one french and one from Australia. We had met the frenchmen before. It was a fun time. We ended up walking to get some snacks and went to this out of the way place. A guy walked up to Jason and told him he was wonderful and sweet and to eat here. I think he was in love with Jason. He would not leave us alone. Of course by the end of the night he was asking Jason for money. He was super funny at first but after a while we were ready for him to leave. Anne was pretty braizen when she spoke to him trying to get him to lay off. She is so great. We ended up getting home and staying up to chat for another hour on deck. It is really nice.
Jason and Laurel on our kayak tour!
The famous blue footed boobie
April 10, 2006 Mon
We slept in a little after last night. We all went into town together and the boys went to buy more jerry cans to take to the gas station. In Galapagos you need to take a cab to the gas station and jerry can it back from there to your boat, for diesel or gas. We now have 5 jerry cans. Anne and I went to make a phone call and get our tours set up. I decided Jason must dive whether he is on the fence about it or not. We came all the way here and he has wanted to come here for ever, how could he think of not diving? I signed him up like it or not, I know he will be so happy he did. I also signed us up to go to Bartome. It is an all day tour that takes you to that island. You leave at 5:30 am (ugh!) and travel by bus to the other side of the island. Then you jump into a boat and head to the island. We will hike to a volcano, play on a beach, and of course snorkel. We should see Penguins, boobies(no not the local ones but the blue footed birds), seals, sharks, and much much much more. I will tell you all about it on Thursday!! I cannot wait to see the penguins. They are a different type than anywhere in the world. I am looking forward to a good hike as well. Oliver and Anne are opting not to do it. It is a little expensive and we should see alot of the animals also on Islabella when we go on Thursday. Jason's dive is with hammerhead sharks I believe. It is $110 but well worth it. The tour to Bartome is $80 a person. I figure we were expecting to spend $1,000 and we are getting off easy by being able to take our boat to Isabella!! We are taking a kyacking tour this afternoon at 2:30. I am a little nervous about doing this with my back but I am going to try anyway. It was fun being in the water and going fast!!! Jason and I were hauling ass. I loved it. We saw sea lions, and blue footed boobies right away. We went quit far and stopped at a small beach and left the kayacks and went for a hike to see the white tipped sharks. No luck there. Then to the rocks to see all the millions of iguanas. Now there weren't quite a million but it sure was a lot. We also saw more boobies there. We snorkeled then, but the visability was very bad and could barely see anything. We saw some big fish but that is about it. It makes me nervous snorkeling where I can't see. It sucked too cuz the water was super cold. We were all shivering afterwards. I was very happy Jason brought a towel and shared it with Anne. I was having a lot of trouble with my back and Jason had to drop me off at the boat on the way back so I could get some meds. It was tough. I laid down until he returned with a pizza for dinner. We watched the Borne Identity during dinner and crashed before 10pm from exhaustion. Jason has an early call tomorrow morning. They pick him up at 7am!!!
April 11, 2006 Tues
Jason is diving and I am working on our finances and the website. Hopefully I'll have the photo albums up and all the pictures. Well, I spent 3 hours at the internet cafe trying to upload the website, or more acurately the photo albums, and have nothing to show for it. They just take too much time. I need to go to an harbor that has free wifi that I can access on the boat and upload the photo albums and leave while it is spending all day doing it. So, I apologize, no photo albums until most likely New Zealand. I have put some pitures up now though. That said, the logs are there. Jason and I then took a walk to the main area of local town. We walked to "the market" and scouted it out. I was starving so we stopped at this little hole in the wall that looked so cool. We ate there and had the most awesome lunch. Chicken soup with mint, chicken roasted, beans and rice, and coleslaw. Oh and of course a beer. It was great. I love just stumbling onto a place that has yummy and cheap food. I found some J&J lavander soap and bought that! Just a little of home now and then. We had some snacks out and came home and bed early for us. We have to get up at 4am for that tour tomorrow.
We were greeted by the little penguin, and man can he swim fast!
This is a view of the crater from the top of Bartolome
April 12, 2006 Wed
We got up at the time we usually get home from a night on the town! We had to call the agua taxi to pick us up and it took several calls before they answered. We walked over to the shop where the bus was to pick us up. It did not come until 5:20, it was late. We took the bus one hour and a boat three hours to Bartolome. On the way over on the bus we saw jumping sting rays and Orkas (these are killer whales). The guide said we were very lucky to see one let alone three. It is rare. They were super cool. Unfortunately, our camera sucks and we missed the opportunity to take a piture. (The camera is ancient, but it is better than no camera) I still can't believe how lucky we were to see the orkas. We saw a penguin and a sea lion right way. I was so excited to see a penguin. He dove in the water and swam sooo incredibly fast!! I couldn't believe it was a penguin. He was adorable. We hiked up to the top of a Volcano. We learned a lot about the geological formations of the islands and about the different types of lava. There were lots of small lava tubes or tunnels here as well. Similar to the large one we walked through. We saw these really cool craters. In fact, the whole island looked like the moon as our guide pointed out. The volcanic rock was very colorful, orange and purple, as well as super light. There was very little plant life on the island. Only a cactus here and there and these little little bushes called tequilla, which are only on that particular island. When we made it to the top the view was spectacular. You could really see the underwater crater perfectly. It was beautiful (You can see it in the piture I took). The only animals on the island are the black lizards and small micro lizards as well as peguins and sea lions. After we finished our hike, we took the boat over to the rock formation by the beach to go snorkeling. I was glad I brought snacks with us. They served us breakfast at 8am. It was good, fresh bread, cheese, hard boiled eggs and guayava jam. But, that was a long time ago and lunch isn't until after snorkeling. There was a sea lion laying on the beach relaxing. There were tons of little lizards around it. I guess the Sea lions hate the flies on them (just like us) so the lizards hang out waiting and eat the flies. It seems the lizards and the sea lions have a very nice arrangement. We saw tons of fish and coral while snorkeling. The visability was amazing. It was cold though. I guess there was a group of Penguins on the other side of the formation where we were snorkeling. Since we never looked up and always down in the water, we missed seeing them all. Bummer. After snorkeling, we took the dingy to the boat. On the way back we drove over to the penguin hanging out on the rocks and were able to get super close and take pictures. It was awesome. We are supposed to see alot more of them on Isabella. Lunch was incredible. They made fish ceviche served with rice and beans. We also got lucky because one of the girls was a vegatarian and they made her a bunch of steamed brocoli and we were able to have some of that as well. There was watermelon later on for a snack. We were heading back now. We laid on the bow of the boat and fell fast asleep. We took the bus back to the town and bought a snack off the street. The vendor was selling green bananas mashed and fried with fish or pork. We tried one of each and walked over to watch the volleyball game. Yes, Equadorians love volleyball. They play alot different than we do though. The buy in for a game starts at $20 a person. They are way too short to be able to set up a spike. The more catch the ball and push it over.
This is one of the views from the top of Bartolome!
This is one of the sea lions taking a little rest!
April 13, 2006 Thurs
This morning we went into town to get our final preparations finished to leave for Isabella. We went grocery shopping, got more fuel, went to the fruit and vegatable market, and then got the boat ready for departure. I had my final soft serve chocolate cone while we rode the water taxi back to our boat. We left in the evening and had a pretty smooth ride.
April 14, 2006 Friday
We arrived in Isabella around 3pm. On the way in we saw a hammer head shark. We dropped anchor and stopped by to talk with Pelican Express. They are going to Easter Island as well. They are caravaning with Dutch touch. They told us about the tour to the volcano that we want to go on. If we sign up with them it is only $25 per person including lunch. We signed up of course. We went to dinner at a local place and had the traditional dinner for good Friday which everyone in town was eating. It was a soup made of salt fish and 3 different kinds of beans. It also had corn in it. The corn here is much different than ours in the states. Dinner was great. We asked for some cheese sandwiches, since we were all still hungry. It seemed to be taking forever. Finally, we asked our waiter what was taking so long. I guess they had to ride to several stores to find bread!! The grilled cheese sandwich was yummy. We had another chocolate cone for desert.
This is the land from 2 different volcano erruptions. The darker almost black ground is from the latest!
Horse back riding on the way to see the volcano
April 15, 2006 Saturday
We were off from the boat by 7:45 am. We needed to be at the dock at 8am for our truck pick up. We took a stopped at the hotel to pick up our lunches and meet our guide who went over the plan for the day. We then took a ride in the back of the truck to where we switch to horses as our mode of transportation. During the ride up we had a change of landscapes from desert like conditons to very plush. It was weird. We all loaded up on the horses and took off for the other side of the island. It was a beautiful ride the scenery was amazing. We saw a huge crater as well. We trotted and galloped part of the time as well. Mostly just Jason, Oliver, Anne, our guide and me. I was laughing so hard it was so much fun. I felt like I was ten years old again. We dropped our horses off and walked about 45 minutes to get to the volcano. The landscape changed again to brown lava rock. There was some plants and cactus but not much else. Then it changed again from when the last erruption occured. This was all black. It was so cool to see where the line was from old to new. I have picture of it. I hope it turns out. We saw lots of lava tubes and you could see the flow of the different types of lava. It was really spectacular. We saw all of the places where the lava exploded from as well. We walked back at a more brisk pace and had lunch under a beautiful tree. We rode back and again we were all in the lead galloping and trotting. So fun. They had wild mangos for us on the way back. I went back to the boat right away after we returned. I needed to take some meds and lay down. I had forgotton my medicine for the ride and was hurting pretty good. After I rested for a while we met everyone else in town for a barbe. The bar/resturant by the water we ate at was good. They were playing lounge music as well. How weird was that! I spilled almost my full plate of food onto the ground. Can I be more of a dork. We hung out with a couple from Turkey and the guys from Englad. It was a fun time. We headed back to the boat with ambitions of watching a movie. We all crashed out.
This is a sea lion playing with 8 white tip sharks you can see 2 of the sharks under the sea lion doing a back flip
4 penguins and a boobie
April 16, 2006 Sun
Well the Easter Bunny showed up last night. We had tons of candy for all of us. It was awesome. I rushed off to church when I found out they had a 9am mass. I was a little late, but was grateful to be able to go. It was very mellow compared to the United States. They celebrate more on Good Friday with a procession through town. Kind of like Palm Sunday. Easter was more quiet. After mass I looked for Anne and Oliver, but couldn't find them. I walked to the store and got myself a nesquick chocolate milk and walked back to the dock. Jason wasn't there so I sat waiting for a while. I noticed the dingy was still at the boat and decided to take a cab back. The dock was super crowded. They had a cargo boat arrive and had to transport everything from the cargo ship to smaller boats to the dock. What a tough job. I think the reason no one was at church was due to this. I saw Jason on the way back and jumped from the agua taxi to our dingy and we went back to town. We got an type of snow cone from a vendor on the dock. They make them so yummy. They put at least 3 flavors (this on had mint as one) and some coconut cream on the top. Delicious!!! We walked on a little path to check it out but there wasn't much to see. We walked back to the dingy and pulled it up closer up the beach since the tide was coming back in. There were a bunch of cows near the dock, they were transporting them out of Isabella for who knows where. We had lunch at this nice resturant. We had to split a meal since we only had $6 on us. We met some crew from a huge power yatch. I mean huge. There are 17 crew members on board. The guy we met was the chef. We had to translate for him what the waitress was saying about there to go menu. Another girl came in that we had met and she needed our help to ask for a ticket back to the main island. Who would have thought we would be translating!!! After lunch we got an ice cream cone and headed back to the dingy. We looked for Anne and Oliver again but they were no where to be seen. On the way back we saw a penguin swimming around in the water. It was so cute. We also passed 2 boats and both of them had tons of sea lions on them. They were jumping up onto the boats and down again for fun. Jason was so amazed at how they could do that. I had seen it before but it was his first time. After watching them for a while we went to where the penguins were and watched all 6 of them for a while as well. There were a bunch of blue footed boobies there as well. We went back to the boat to get our camera and for me to put my suit on. We wanted to go snorkeling. We took tons of pictures of the penguins and a video. They are so cute. We went to the little island and took the trail around on foot. There were 8 white tiped sharks hanging out. Then a sea lion come over and started to play with them. It was so cool that we got to see this. I took some video and pictures. We stayed there for about 20 min looking on in amazement. We then walked over to where there were about 50 sea lions. There were 2 playing in the water and all the adults were under the shade of the trees. One was sucking on its mother for milk. It was very neat to see. There were also lots of lizards here the black kind. All of the land here was black lava rock. We went back to the boat and Oliver and Anne were there. I guess they went on a walk in town and saw some more turtles. We decided to pack up and leave tonight. How fitting that we leave for Easter Island on Easter Sunday! We finished getting it all ready by 4:30 and headed out for Easter Island. Dutch Touch and Pelican Express left in the morning, we will be keeping in contact with them during our journey. They will make it there a lot faster than us though, they can go 8 knots or more.
Bye Galapagos. Our sunset for our departure!
April 17, 2006 Monday
Last night's watch was horrible. The winds were very light and the seas were pretty big. We were rocking like mad going only 1,8 knots. I had to hand stear almost the entire time. We finally took down the main at 11:45 when Jason woke up. I guess Oliver and Anne had similar shifts. Jason had good wind in the morning and we were able to put back up the main and mizzen. We also switched out our head sail to the bigger genoa. It made us go so much faster. Now we are doing around 5.2 knots. Yippee!! I made some french toast for breakfast with some bananas I cooked in butter and coconut rum. Yummy. They day went well for sailing until 9:45 when the winds were finally so light and the seas so big we had to take down all the sails and just motor. We hate motoring, but we hate rolling so violently and going .8 knots worse. I watched "an ideal husband" on my watch because my back was bugging me and I needed a distraction. I worked on the cost of all the food that we have on the boat most of the day so we can figure out an estimated amount for the French couple to pay. Rather than wait until the end of the trip. It was a bit tricky since alot of it was still from the states. I did my new ball excercise video today. It isn't very good. I much prefer mat pilates, but in these seas it is impossible to do them. Maybe tomorrow. I made taco salads for dinner. We had avacados so I made a combo avacado/tomato salsa. It was so good. I love cooking it really is fun and a lot challenging on a rocking boat. Anne has been seasick all day today and part of yesterday. She hasn't taken any meds for it yet, I think she is trying to tough it out. By the look of these seas, I don't believe it will be relieved anytime soon.
April 18, 2006 Tues
I slept horrible last night. My back kept waking me up too much rocking. I was up at 6:30 and ended up helping Jason put up the sails and helm the boat while he listened to the ssb and talked with Pelican Express to give them our coordinates. We were able to sail after that. The winds are pretty light still, but at least they are 11 knots and we can sail. The rest of the day was pretty lazy. Jason took two naps and we watched a movie before I started to cook dinner. We had taco salads for dinner. I made an avacado salad. It is amazing how excellent it tastes with just chopped avacado, onion, tomatos, and some spices; the avacado/salsa. My shift was nice tonight. I just stared at all the many stars listening to the 3 tenors until the moon came up. It was beautiful. Bright orange and reflecting on the water. It was smooth sailing going 6.4 knots most of the way.
April 19, 2006 Wed
It was easier to sleep last night with the rocking alot less. We spent the day working on cleaning all the stainless steal. The first time we have done this. I should be done once a month. I hope we keep it up. It looks so much nicer. Our bananas are almost all ripe now so I made some banana bread. I do not think I will want another bannana for a while after this trip!! The water is calm today. A nice change. I was able to do mat pilates today. My back does so much better when I do this every day. I am going to make pasta primavera tonight. Should be good. Well there was no cooking for me tonight. I wasn't feeling well. Oliver was kind enough to cook while I laid down. I spent most of the day after 1pm laying down. Right before my shift the winds picked up and were occassionally hitting upwards of 23 knots and we were sailing at 7.2 knots. We decided it was best to reef the main and head sail. We were sailing at 6.8 - 7 knots. I was to let Oliver know that he could let out more sail if the winds died to 18 knots steadily for 20 min. and if he wanted to unreef the main to wake Jason up. After we accomplished this, Jason headed to bead. I put in some music and laid on the deck watching the sky. The moon does not rise until 11:30 so you could see so many of the stars. It was slightly cloudy so not as well as last night. The winds were picking up and were steadily 23-26 knots. Around 11:30pm the boat thrusted violently and the wind seemed very much stronger and I looked over at the wind meter, the wind indicator was between 26 - 30. I knew instantly we needed to reef the head sail in further. jason's head popped up in that instant. He had felt the change in conditions as well. We reefed in the head sail some more and Oliver came up stairs. We all were on deck while Jason found point of sail. It was amazing that the winds were hitting 30 knots. We were going 7.5 knots. Way too fast for our boat. We slowed down after reefing the second time to 6 knots. It was not only very windy but the seas are super rough. My ankles, knees and hip joints were hurting me so I was thinking we may be facing a squal. My body is a barameter. I went into the main room to check the real barameter, when I was thrown and landed on the couch right on Anne. She scared me to dealth. Apparently she was having trouble sleeping in these conditions in the forward cabin and moved to the bed in the main room. I felt so bad because I landed I think on her arm and face. Porrt thing. The barameter showed no significant change. My back at this point was getting worse than it was during the day. I could not sleep. Jason woke up and we decided to check on things on deck. Oliver said he was skirting a squall that showed up on the radar. Amazing how I knew we would hit one through my body. At this point I could not stand my situation any longer and put in my usual "Pride and Prejudice" to make it through the night.
April 20, 2006 Thurs
I took Jason's morning shift shice I wasn't sleeping anyway. It was very smooth. We had really really rough seas today and heavy winds. We wished we had our other head sail up. It was tought getting anything done and I am sure I now have quite a few new bruises. I think you get a lot of excercize just trying to stand. We caught 7 or 8 fish and we kept 4 because they weren't too small. One mahi which was small, and 3 skip jack tunas. They aren't the best eating fish but still good. I wish it was 3 huge mahi mahi's though. I made a recipe from my Spanish cook book I bought in Spain on my trip there to visit Dina. It was a great recipe and we all devoured it. I am happy to be catching fish. My watch went very quickly. I was having trouble sleeping after my shift. I had to use my biofeedback tapes. I was right in the middle of the tape when water came pouring in through the hatch onto me!!! Luckily there was a towel near by and it did not penitrate to the bed!! Phew! That was our first big wave over the boat and into it. I am so happy I brought those other sheets back from Colorado. Oliver and Anne are using my old extra set. Life always seems to work out.
April 21, 2006 Friday
Another day of sailing today. I woke up early and immediately changed our sheets from last nights disaster. I put towels all on the area prtecting the mattress. It will be nice to have clean sheets anyway. I would have canged them on Sunday anyway. I worked really hard this morning. I cleaned up our room and organized our closets. Cleaned up the main room including washing the floors. Put away all the dishes and straightened up. The boat looks nice again. It is amazing how quickly it gets cluttered if you aren't putting your stuff away right after use. We turned on the generator to charge the batteries. Using the water maker was draining them. While charging them, we are able to watch a movie and we did. We watched "Meet the Fockers" it was soo funny I forgot how funny. Jason was working on the water maker. Apparently, it keeps sucking air and not working correctly so we are now under a strict water restriction. In the mean time we keep trying to make it. We need a part that allows the water maker to pull in air and still work. Now it if pulls air then it shuts itself off and can ruin the watermaker. Hopefully, we will be able to make enough to take a shower at some point but for now it is a wash cloth shower. Bummer. At least we aren't salty when we go to bed on our new sheets!! After the movie, I began cooking basmati rice and chicken curry. Dmitry you would have liked it, I made it with lots of brocoli in it.
April 22, 2006 Saturday
Last night on my watch I was jamming to "Fat Boy Slim." I haven't heard his cd's in a while. I was even attempting to dance (do not try this at home). It was fun with the stars all around. The moon doesn't come up on my shift now so it is a sky full of millions and millions of stars. the only activities I see are shooting stars (many) and planes flying overhead. It is amazing how many I have seen fly by. I always wonder what airline is it? Is it even an airline? Private jet? Sometimes I even think it would be nice to be on that airplane heading to Easter Island, Chili, or New Zealand. Flying is so much painless than sailing. It takes you almost 3 weeks just to arrive from Galapagos to Easter Island and if we flew we could leave and arrive within 12 hours. No headaches on wonderfing if the watermaker is going to work or if the batteries are charged. But, there are many joys out here as well. I have been reading the Terry Brooks books. I think that the first book in the High Druid series was one of his best!! I have been enjoying reading. I never seemed to have time at home to read there was always something to do. It is weird sailing is relaxing and taxing at the same time. You are using every muscle trying to stay steady while trying to cook while you are rocking hard. If you did not have a good foot hold you would fly across the boat from the movement. Apparently we are taking on water somewhere. Our bilge pump keeps coming on and we have no idea where the water is coming in through. We believe it might be one of the pumps. It seems to be coming in at a greater pace when we are on a beam reach and heeled to the starboard side. We are hoping we can test this theory tomorrow. I practiced my french lessons tonight. I am trying to memorize the alphabet so I can move on to sentences. It is nice having the french on board to practice with. Not that I can form sentences or understand anything yet. It is getting colder the more south we head. We have been wearing sweats and on top of our fleeces a jacket. Hopefully it does not get too much colder. The boats that left ahead of us are hoping to arrive tomorrow or the next day to Easter Island. We have been in contact with them every day. They have been helping us with the weather information. It really helps alot.
April 29, 2006 Saturday
It is Saturday again. We have only 430 miles to go. We are very excited. We should arrive by Wed evening. We have had good winds the last couple of days. Before that we were having squally weather which means light winds followed by high winds or vise versa. I absolutely hate light winds. I would rather have strong winds than light winds. It is very hard to control the boat if you can, and you either have to start the engine and motor or just wait it out and bounce around. Luckily we only had that for a day or two. Although, Jason pulled the weather report and we are supposed to experience them again today or tomorrow. Today we did not. We had nice winds all day between 10-18. We switched out the genoa to our 130% (bigger one) since it is better in light winds. I have been doing the 6-9 shifts switching with Jason. He seems to get more sleep on the other shift. I like the morning because it is the only time I am on deck in the day light by myself or with just Jason at around 8am. It is great. I enjoy the solitude. I did not sleep to well last night. I woke up achy. I think it is the weather. I watched the end of a moive I started when I wasn't feeling well a few days back and then wrote some emails before my shift. I like being after Anne. She is much like Jason giving you the lowdown on what is going on. Almost better because she tells you what she has had to do on shift. Jason usually limits it to what I should need to do. I like that as well. I am getting much better at sailing now. Yesterday, there was no wind on my shift so I had to drop the main sail. I was able to do it by myself. I had to have Jason come and help me pull in the head sail though. I was afraid of making my back worse again. I still need to learn how to put up the wisker poll though and to reef in the main. I have only been behind the wheel during these times and so do not have a good understanding of how to do it in actually practice. I am hoping this week I will get to learn. I have told Jason to get me anytime I am not sleeping and he has to reef the main or use the wisker poll. I think now that we are well past the half way mark everyones spirits are very high with anticipation of Easter Island. We caught another skip jack tuna today. It was a nice big one. Oliver took the best part of the meat and made sashimi with it and we ate it as part of dinner. I also made up the yellow fin steaks we had. They had to be cooked or I would have just had the sashimi. We have not even eated much of our meat. We have been lucky. We still have carrots, potatos, onions, tomatos, green peppers, lemons/limes, and grapefruits. Only a couple of grapefruits left but I am suprised. These are all from the farmers market in Panama City. It really really helps to make sure every item you buy is in the best condition. I know that is why the carrots are still good. The green peppers have amazed me!! We bought some more tomatos in Galapagos so those aren't so old. Tonight with dinner we decided to have a glass of red wine. We tried the boxed wine from Chili that Anne and Oliver told us was good;therefore, bought about 12 of each. It wasn't bad. Not necessarily good but not bad. Definitely drinkable. If I wasn't on a boat I don't think I would buy it but if you consider the price of $2.5 a box it all the sudden becomes a very good value and not so wholely bad.
Last night I was talking to Anne about how most people that hear we are traveling think we must be spending lots of money and how can we possibly do this. Most people that hear us talk or read our logs think that our life is like what it would be for them to go on vacation somewhere. Well, maybe if you are reading our logs you would believe otherwise, I am not sure. But, alot of people assume that. But, when you are traveling in another country the way we are everything can be more difficult. We do not have the vacationers purse or ease of nice hotel accomodations and planne d activities. For instance, when you go to a resort or nice hotels they usually set up the tours for you and they are expensive. When you are traveling this way you must find a place that does tours, price shop, then look for an alternative. Can I find a cabbie to take me to these places for cheaper or a local and ask questions around town. Another challenge are the cabbies - an example; I came back from Denver and the cabbie that picked me up drove off and told me he was going to charge me $35 to take me to the harbor. Now, I know this is over priced and that he obviously considers me a tourist coming in on an airplane with no clue as to what this should really cost. I fought with him in the cab in spanish for 15 minutes and finally made him take me back to the airport. I took another one for $20 which was still $5 more than I paid last time there and back. It was very frustrating. Also, we do need to take a cab alot, we try to take buses but sometimes you need to take cabs. Now every time we try for a cab we have to ask price in spanish and negotiate. After that one out of every 3 cabs we let go because they want to charge us too much. This takes time and is frustrating. Also, we do not seek out the nicest, most expensive cuisine in the country, we are spending our time asking around in spanish to find the most local place we can go so that we can eat the least expensive meal. Another misconception about a yatch, it is not necessarily luxurious. It is 9 out of 10 times broken or needs to be fixed. Has smells that you are combating constantly. When the boat is broken it is not easy task in another country either. You need to get to the far off places that sell the parts and need to speak the language in order to get them. They are not the usual english speaking tourist items for purchase. Then, if you are lucky, they will have what you need. If not you need to order it from the states and have it delivered. Which could take up to a month to get. Then you need to figure out where the hell it is after you find out where it is go get it, then find out it isn't there after all. You end up spending more than 3x the cost whether you have it shipped or you get it there by the time you factor in cabs. You must go to at least 3 different places before you even find it!! That does not even get into the sailing factor. You have to spend days on end rocking violently all day no breaks! You have to do life sustaining tasks during all these tosses. Things like cook, work in the tiny engine room to fix something, change out the sails, do dishes, take a shower and work on the ssb or send emails. All of these tasks have a price of pretty bruises and balancing acts. Anothe misconception: That you have an unlimited supply of water and electricity. You would think we would be showering every day even twice a day after all we have a watermaker, not. You need to conserve water. The water maker may break?! Or more to fact, ti doesn't make much water when on a beam reach if any. So you are on constant water restriction. I have learned the wash cloth is invaluable. Same with electricity. You are on a fuel consumption restriction. Of course your alternator is not charging the batteries nearly like it should so when your batteries get low you need to use the generator to charge them. This take fuel and depending where you go you may not be able to get it. Easter Island has it but if we cannot stop there then we have to wait until thaiti to get it. That is a long way. So, no we do not watch tv hardly at all. Thank God for books!! The only time we really watch movies is when we charge the batteries using the generator 1 maybe 2x a week. Not so glamorous as you thought huh!! I am not complaining by any means, I am just letting all those fantasy people out there know that it isn't all fun and game or even remotely like a vacation you take from work. Every day presents new challenges. Some more frustrating that others. But, hopefully when the trip is over and we look back the work will have been so worth being lucky enough to experience all the different places we have gone.
April 30, 2006 Sunday
On my shift the winds picked up and I pulled out the head sail. We msotor sailed for a while and then just sailed. Jaosn wen't back to sleep and I went through a squall that gave us a alot of rain. I was wishing that I could scrub the deck but I had to hand steer. After my shift, I scrubbed the deck it looked like we were going to go through another squall and get some rain to wash it off. Unfortunately we didn't get any rain and Jason just washed the soap off with ocean water. I went below and washed the floors, started some cooking the chicken for some chicken for my soup, made home made bread and then made the soup. I realized after I started cooking that we had to motor again. After I fisnished cooking I sat down to watch a movie. It was nice. We ran the motor most of the day and all night tonight. One good thing about motoring is that you can watch as many movies as you like!!! It is the best time to use elecricity. It was great. Jason watched a movie on his shift and I stayed up to watch part of it. Oliver watched one on his shift as well. Of course as soon as we have some wind we will begin sailing. We try to motor as little as possible.