Wednesday, June 15, 2016

And the winner is...

How do you choose one picture that captures our time in the Galapagos??  I have spent about an hour this morning going through all our photos, and it is so difficult!!  Using this satellite posting option allows me only to post one picture.  Should it be the close up of the giant tortoise eating a passion fruit that we had the luxury of seeing in the wild yesterday?  Is it of the lava tunnels we explored in the highlands of Santa Cruz?  Is it the amazing yellow and orange colored land iguana that was just lazing in the sun?  Is it of the tiny finch or the bright yellow canary?  Is it of our 3 musketeers on Garrick’s birthday, enjoying a beer, 25 years after a similar photo was taken in Malta when we sailed Dave’s uncle Brian’s “Golden Emerald” across the Mediterranean?  Is it a family picture of us standing next to some sea iguanas on the rocks, or is it a picture of the entire crew?  Is it a picture of Ben and Gaby getting a haircut at the back of the boat, or the bunch of bananas hanging from our solar panel supports that we bought for $2 (the bananas that is, not the solar panel support!).  Or is it the one I finally chose…this amazing shot that Adrian took…this sea iguana sneezing out sea water, with Cool Runnings in the background.  The sea iguanas dive off the rocks into the sea and eat the algae on the rocks below.  They can only hold their breath for a certain period of time, and then they have to come back up again.  They also lose a lot of body heat while in the cold water, so they spend a lot of time sitting on the rocks, warming up in the sun.  They also get salt water in their lungs when they are underwater, so when they sit on the rocks, you’ll occasionally see them sneezing.  This is how they get rid of the salt water!  To catch it on camera was a once in a lifetime shot!


Our other mission to solve while in the Galapagos has been trying to get 2 FedEx packages.  Wow…what a nightmare!  The one package was sent from Florida (a repair kit for rope cleats that Dave had ordered from West Marine and they never sent), and the other was sent from France – the rollers that we need to replace at the top of the mast to (hopefully) once and for all stop the chafing.  You’d think it would be simple.  The packages have been in Ecuador for probably a week now.  They wanted a cell phone number for the consignee (Dave), that of course we don’t have.  We gave them our satellite phone number.  Not good enough.  They were going to abandon the package.  WHAT?!  We’d paid almost $300 in shipping for these parts!!!  Then they wanted a copy of his passport.  We managed to get that to them.  Then yesterday they wanted an additional $160 something for the one package and $30 something for the other.  “Customs Fee”.  Imagine trying to coordinate all of this with limited to no wifi, and primarily over a satellite connection.  It has been a nightmare.  Yesterday we got confirmation that the parts will arrive today and we should…fingers crossed….get them by the end of the day.  If all goes well, we will then leave here tomorrow and sail over to Isla Isabel, where Dave will do the final mast repair (install the rollers), and we will get ready for our crossing.


So today we will finish provisioning – there is a fresh market in town where we can buy our fruits and veggies.  We’ve been buying fresh fish from the fish market, which has been absolutely delicious! We’ll get a few more items from the supermarket (long life milk, cereal for the kids ($4+ for a small box of Fruit Loops…!!) and then we have to solve the beer dilemma.  We stocked up pretty well in Panama, and didn’t consume any beers on the trip over, but the boys have made a dent in the beer supply since our arrival, so we have been looking for a way to replenish the beer.  We have battled to find any cans (which we can crush and store more easily than glass…and glass breaks), and all they sell here are huge, glass bottles of beer.  So inventory needs to be taken, and a decision needs to be made.  Do we get the big glass bottles, or purchase the few cans of Pilsner that we found at an outrageous price?  That’s one for the boys to figure out.  I have my wine…I’m OK! ;-)  We’ll top our tanks and jerry cans with diesel and then we should be good to go.  Isabella is pretty remote and the island has only a small settlement.  We are looking forward to spending a few days there after the “hustle and bustle” of Puerto Ayora!


Until next time from Isabella, this is the Cool Runnings crew signing off!  (I’m going to see if I can attach two pictures…let’s see what happens…if it comes through, the second picture is the Cool Runnings crew wishing you all well!)


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