I was fully prepared to be let down by the Galapagos. I just didn’t see how it could live up to its name, but I was blown away.

We arrived in San Cristobal all guns blazing to make sure we didn’t miss the 3 o clock boat inspection.  After weeks of chucking stuff out and getting the boat ready for this, it was all over in a matter of minutes. In fact the officials were more bothered about their free cans of coke than what we had on board.

You can’t roam free in the galapagos so Tiggy and James hired a guide. The intinary was very strict about times and places so after a 4 am start in the poaring rain we were all pleased to arrive at Isle Espanola.  This was my first experience of an proper Galapagos island and probably still my favourite . We saw iguanas, lizards, crabs, sea lions and all kinds of birds. There was so much wildlife you had to watch where you stepped.

We watched a sea iguana swim dangerously close to a blow hole but fortunately (sadly) he was spared. Aparently it isn’t uncommon for them to go for an unexpected joy ride!   The coastline was beuatiful but my favourite thing was getting to see an albatross.  Fabri our guide had been a few days before and they hadn’t arrived yet so we were really lucky.   Birds of the ocean, they fly thousands of miles to meet up with their partners here and then take it in turns to fly 300 miles plus to find food for their young. I think I’ll forever be haunted by the Skelton of the one that didn’t manage…

The rest of the week we visited up to two islands a day and saw frigate birds courting, blue footed boobies nesting , all kinds of iguanas and little lizards trying to assert their dominance at us by doing mini press ups. I’m sure this scares off other lizards but it looks pretty funny!

Every island we landed on , we had a walk and a snorkel. After swimming into currents,  over sharks and being swam at by a seal I decided I much prefered the walks. Not that land was much safer as I managed to be jumped at by a pariculary large crab,  ran at by an iguana and chased by several sea lions. Clearly the next David Attenbourgh in the making. ..

On the last day we climbed to the top of barthelome in what can only be described as lunar landscape. The view from the top was breathtaking though. Unfortunately so were the 300 plus stairs!  We saw the mini penguins and they were super cute but super uninterested in us. In fact I was surprised by how most of the wild life here was so unbotheted by our presence. .. it was almost like we weren’t there.

To have seen and explored all these amazing islands is something I will never forget.


Leaving the galapagos.

For starters you can’t just leave somewhere like the galapagos.  You must first notify Regine 2 days in advance who notifies our agent Ricardo who sorts it all out with someone else… who gives Ricardo a piece of paper to give to Regine who passes it on to us to say we can leave. Few!  Regine has to do this for 30 boats… and that was just for leaving.  I don’t even want to think about entering!

She must be some kind of wizard because we all manage to get our zarpes  ( leaving tickets) and with a little ( alot) of help from Gav we manage to get the boat ready and fit for the 3000 mile passage that awaits us.

Provisioning for such a passage would be tricky anywhere but there’s no 24 hour big tescos here so have to order our food through another agent who gets it flown in from Equador and delivered to the boat.. which sounds like a glammed up tesco’s delivery until you realise they’ve given you all the nearly out of date stuff and shitty looking fruit and really it’s just like a tesco’s delivery.  A few hours wandering around the fruit market later and our fruit issues solved, we were not to rest just yet as a rogue taxi driver decided to ram our dingy with his flag pole.  Standing on Safiya’s dingy in a swelly ancourage while trying to patch a large hole is not easy… And sadly didn’t work.  Luckily the magical Regine kicked Ricardo’s ass in to gear once again and found us a dingy repair man.  It unfortunately meant we set off 6 hours later than we’d planned but that’s sailing!

Leaving the galapagos and friends behind was not easy.  Especially knowing we wouldn’t see some for a long time and others for a really long time.  And yet again I come to the conclusion that saying good byes is the hardest part of Sailing. I can deal with broken dingys,  leaking engines,  squalls and late night shifts but saying goodbyes won’t ever get easier.

However, as I sit on watch writing this the sun is about to come up and I’m full up on chocolate biscuits trying to work out which saw doctors song was their “one hit wonder” so It’s not all bad.  And I am very much looking forward to the marquesas where we will be reunited with the fleet and internet coverage so we can be reunited with loved ones back home.


To my friends and family that read this I’m sorry it’s been so long since I last posted…. 3000 miles is a long way! After a great  (but rolly ) passage I am very pleased to be enjoying the marquesas. Wifi here is not great so I will go back and add the photos later!

Love to you all,