Saturday, April 12, 2014

Post Office and Date Night

I went to mail some postcards. This small town has 2 post offices. The first sold me cards and stamps, told me $2.50 to post to the US. As I pulled out the stamps, it was $1.75 to post to the US on the paper. So I went to the other post office to ask the rate. Apparently there it's $3. for a postcard to the US and they don't have any stamps, maybe next week they will get some. This is all very confusing to US citizens who have a flat rate without any bribery involved to get people to do their jobs. And how can a post office not have stamps? That's sort of an oversight of inventory efforts isn't it?

A guy just came by offering tours to the volcano caves for $20 each. Looks great, but we're leaving in the morning. He says, "I can take you now, it's 2 hours." It's 4:30 in the evening, we don't have the money or cameras, I'm in my swimsuit. So Courage is running to the boat to get money and camera and water, and we are off for a date night.

Snorkeling at the Tunnels

Departure Delayed

Port Captain failed to give us the ZARPE yesterday, gave us the receipt for the ZARPE after a 30 minute wait in his office, but not the actual paper. So, we go again today and after a 20 minute wait we're told "we have no computer." Maybe you just tell us when we should come get it?? 

Works for me though, fresh carrots reportedly coming into town tonight (I found absolutely no carrots in all of town yesterday) and we can have an early departure across the south side of the island where we saw tons of mantas while we were diving the other day. Hope to do a morning animal tour, then head southbound to find the trade winds!! Yes, I think tomorrow morning will be a perfect time!


Departure -

Well the time has come to say goodbye to the Galapagos, and make the jump to the Marquesas.  So my guess is that it takes us 23 days.  It is 3000 miles, and mostly downwind.  The other 58' catamaran is averaging just about 200 mile days, so they should do it in less then 20 days.  I guess it is pretty sloppy out there, so we are planning on dragging our departure feet until tomorrow. But who knows, they may just send us out of here sooner.

Diesel is $1.05 and gas is $1.46 per gallon at the gas station.  But there is a small mafia problem here.  If a cruiser wants to get fuel they charge you $5/gallon and deliver it after sunset.  So the trick is to find a taxi driver who does not know about overcharging boaters, give him your fuel tanks to fill and pay him $2 per gallon.  The trick is then only to smuggle it from the taxi, out the dock, and into your dingy.

All was going smoothly for us, until my partner in crime (who shall remain nameless), saw some friends of hers at the beach, and being a social butterfly went over to chat while I waited for the taxi to arrive.  When the gas arrived she was nowhere to be found, so I had to run the fuel out on the dock, grab the dingy, then with a herculean effort lift the gas over the fence and carefully drop it into the dingy.  Now for some reason gas in the Galapagos is colored a deep blue.  Making it extremely obvious what is in your clear plastic fuel jugs.   (Could not use the red fuel jug, as it is not big enough.)  So as we motored past the "cops" Shannon just laid over the fuel tanks as casual as could be so that they could not be seen.

It is off to Volleyball this morning, and then we are ready to go!!


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Great Day in the Galapagos

Nice day today.  One kid boat left for the S. Pacific this afternoon, an Aussie family with 1 kid.  A Swedish family arrived with 2 kids.  We had 12 kids at the beach this afternoon.  They had a blast, kayak surfing, body surfing, swimming, digging in the sand, playing chase, etc.  We all kayaked home, had dinner, we did a clean up and have all the kids coming over here for a movie night.  We provide the venue and popcorn; they bring the movie, which is nice to add to our variety.

We set up a snorkeling tour on Thursday; probably hit the farm on Friday, possibly heading out Saturday or Sunday.  Lots of things pending, so we will see.

Brought in our propane tank to fill today. There are lots of issues.  No propane in town according to rumors.  Doesn't make perfect sense.  Also it is hard to fill with an American adapter here.  But we hope to get it figured out or resupplied this week.

There was a similar issue for the local businesses also.  One of the boats was really looking to get some beer.  March is the celebration of Carnival, in which people drink a lot of beer.  The supply ships were coming once a week, not two.  They were stopping at 3 other populated Galapagos Islands first, so the last of the supplies were brought here.  The delivery is every Wednesday, and it came on the first of April, which was the tsunami warning.  So it left and never unloaded.  So many local restaurants/bars don't have beer.  The stores have marked it up from $1 each to $3.50 each.  It's interesting to see what the limitations are that they are dealing with and managing without.  We have watched building supplies, a truck, a diesel tanker truck, etc. landing on a barge and the many cases of bottles going back as recycling.  Prices are more expensive here and I can see why.  At this point I can only imagine prices in the remote S. Pacific!!

April provisioning was great!!  I just went into the front hull and pulled it all out in a matter of an hour or so and we were restocked.  Was very refreshing after all that shopping at many stores for separate items, taxis, dragging it down the dock, dinghy, etc.  This was much easier!!  And our shelves look full.  Think we are in good shape!


Tide Pools

Intrepid had quite a hard time breathing in both Costa Rica and Panama.  While his siblings were off running around he would be sitting somewhere in the shade relaxing and breathing.  But for a little over a month now he has been doing great.  No problems breathing at all.  He is now running around with the rest of the children, chasing iguanas, seals, and whatever fish are unlucky enough to end up caught in the tide pools.   Now to say that he is running may not be exactly factual, as I have been watching him quite closely.  He is actually able to start running, but shortly after starts skipping and hopping just for the pure joy of it.  I am just going to go out on a limb here and say that he just loves to be able to breathe.  Well, off to the tide pools!   Maybe we can catch another octopus!!!


Making Water, Water Everywhere!

Well it is a little bit embarrassing but here goes.

It was a nice day, and seemed to be a good time to make water.  So we fired up the water-maker, and started our day. What could go wrong? Over the next 1.5 hours we lazily got ready for swimming with the iguanas. Cassidy decided to stay to make our daily bread. So off we went and what a great morning it was.  In fact it was so great with all the wildlife that we did not even return until nearly lunchtime.  Unfortunately the water-maker had not magically turned itself off, and the bread-maker, who shall remain nameless, when asked why the water-maker was still on was quoted as saying "nobody told me".  Which according to Bigfoot sources is a very reasonable explanation.  So a quick dash down to the water tank confirmed the wet truth. The bilge board was actually floating and the water was flowing just as natural as can be right into Shannon's electronic bilge, and the children’s blanket storage bilge.  Well the water-maker was immediately shut down, and the faucet was turned on "full blast" to start draining the water tank.  Four hours later the bilges were dry. The printer, which had been set out to dry, had been filled with popcorn by Valiant who also used the "nobody told me" defense when told he was never to put anything inside Mamma's printer.  And that is the story of the water-maker!

We are having a super great time down here!