Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Pacific passage

Pacific Ocean---I could not have asked for a more peaceful sail from Panama to the Galapagos Islands. The Pacific Ocean was truly passive. For sailors who only like the adrenaline rush of going fast on one rail, this was not the week for them. But for my last passage of this year at sea, an agreeable ocean and light winds was perfect. Memories of the occasional visit from a pod of dolphin, or a sea turtle bobbing up for a gulp of air; the two Gray Boobie birds that hitched a ride overnight, one on the solar panel and the other on our headsail’s pole; having a full moon set and the sun rise in the span of one night watch, or a green flash as the setting sun bids farewell. All these experiences are topped by the anticipation we had, like children on Christmas Eve, during the countdown towards crossing the Equator.

Seeing the Galapagos appear in the distance on day seven was putting 800 miles behind us. As soon as we got near we knew this was a place unlike any other as a seal swam by on one side of the boat, a huge sea turtle cruised by on the other and prehistoric looking birds with enormous wing spans floated motionless high above us as we entered the harbor of Santa Cruz.

We have arrived. We are in Charles Darwin’s world of the Galapagos Islands.

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