Puerto Villamil - Isabella - Galapagos - Ecuador
00 57.3 S 90 57.7 W
I swear, we are not all lazy bums, but apologies for letting minimal internet and too many other things to do, keep us from posting for so long.
Since the last time we wrote anything we have mostly been hanging out here in Isabella. On the 10th, the bi-monthly supply ship came in so we headed to shore to buy up what we could. What a difference. Much more food and better selection as well. Word is that this comes every 15 days, so we expect the ship again today or Monday. On the 12th we went up to volcano Sierra Negra. The horse ride up got a little messy because there was a TON of mud and the trail is being destroyed by the horses with VERY deep ruts that collect water. Don't think my feet would have been muddier if I had hiked. We then hiked over to the last eruption site for a neat view and lunch. The ride back down was quite hairy with the horses having real trouble. My horse fell all the way onto her chest, forcing me to roll off into the mud. Not hurt at all, but VERY muddy.
On the 14th we headed back east to Puerto Ayora to meet Soggy Paws and provision. We got there by 2:00 and had a fruitful afternoon, getting the Fortress Anchor shank bent back straight. It had gotten bent when we left Puerto Ayora as it was burried about 5' deep in the sand.
I spent 45 minutes digging it out with scuba gear and had dug a hole 3' deep by 6' diameter, but had only gotten to the head of the anchor and when we tried to pull it out, it bent pretty badly as you can see. The good news is that Fortress has an excellent waranty and will ship new parts no questions asked (just pay for shipping) so Sierra will get to carry two new anchor parts for us in May (don't worry, they aren't that heavy). Saturday we did our major shopping, including buying lots of good cheese from the shop that I heard about from former client Greg Carol (more on all this in an update to the Galapagos Cruising Guide that we are working with Shery on Soggy Paws to update).
On the 17th we sailed back to Isabella, happy to leave the rolly and crowded anchorage on Santa Cruz and get back to our idyllic little spot here. Since then we have been trying to knock off our to-do list, but it is getting complicated by a series of breakages. We did manage to sell our extra bike here to the owner of the hardware store, so we are psyched for the bit of cash and the extra space. This seemed to make much more sense than trying to ship Zak's bike back from Tahiti. On the 22nd we went for two nice dives at Isla Tortuga with Dave and Shery (Soggy Paws). The current was pretty strong and at times the water was downright frigid, but it was a nice dive with more rays than you could count. That evening we got to refilling the 10 tanks we had used when the drive belt on the compressor broke. I went into shore and got 3 replacement belts and then went about trying to fit one. 3 hours in the VERY hot laz later I gave up and went back to shore for a bigger belt. Bill took over and managed to fit the 31" belt (original said it was 30" but apparently the belt sizes very by batch and the compressor supplier says he regularly uses both sizes). The next morning I finished putting the compressor back in place and we were back business. I got on with some of my other chores including fixing the outboard motor bracket in the focs'l.
Then when we were leaving to go ashore for dinner last night, Bill broke the outboard starting line (probably not his fault), so this morning I get to start my day by fixing that before I can go up the rig to replace the AIS antenna that seems to have crapped out on us. We plan to leave in about 1 week, so hopefully the list will start to get shorter instead of longer. Our Propane solenoid has arrived in the Galapagos, so now we are just waiting for the watermaker parts that are still stick in customs.