Arriving to Galapagos

From the day the last beach clean up took place to the day we left for Galapagos were two weeks. Two weeks to buy food, get the boat sorted, all the paperwork, apply to an extension of Micks visa and saying goodbye to friends and family. It was busy indeed.

I would like to say that if I hadn’t been born in Ecuador and my family wasn’t here..or no, let me put it differently, if I had known that it was going to cost us so much money to come to Ecuador, I would’ve left the boat in Panama and flown here instead of coming with Ondular. By the time we cleared into Ecuador, apply for an extension of visa, paid for the fumigation, get all the certification, get our zarpe from Salinas, cleared into Galapagos, we had spent close to 2000 dollars! Crazy! You would think, that being Ecuadorian would make things easier, but thats not true..i didn’t get any special treatment whatsoever!

Saying that, now that we have been in the Galapagos for over a month.. I wouldn’t have want to miss coming here on our boat. Its’ been amazing. Just waking up every day and observing the sea lions all around us makes it all worth it, but I do wish things were different in Ecuador. There is too much unnecessary bureaucracy that makes things all too difficult and costly.

Our trip down from Salinas was very pleasant. My brother joined us on this passage and it was great having him with us. For the first time I had the chance to know what it was like to sleep for 6 hours while on passage, just having that one extra person on board made a big difference.

The first 3 days were super calm; it almost felt as if we were still at anchored and although there wasn’t much wind at all we were moving thanks to some current. By the fourth day we had stronger wind, the fifth day we had winds of up to 20 knots and the last day it was softer again and we took all morning from the moment we saw land to the time we arrived into Puerto Baquerizo Moreno in San Cristobal.

We broke the rules and although we hadn’t checked in yet, we went to land because my parents had flown to the islands and we wanted to have dinner with them. We were pleasantly surprised when we ran into our friends Roy and Elaine who we had last seen in Martinique more than 6 months ago. It was their last night in San Cristobal as they are doing the World ARC (which is a world circumnavigation race) so they also joined us for dinner and it was great to catch up at least for one night.

The next 5 days were spent with my parents and brother, doing all the tours , like the Junco and the tortoises tour, we went to Kicker rock to snorkel and just spent the days, walking around, going to the different beaches, watching the sunsets and spending it together. My parents had never been to Galapagos before so I’m so happy they came and saw us here and we could share these memories with them.

Although it was sad to say good bye there was something to look forward to, there were waves! So we did something we hadn’t done in a while, surf and it felt good. The waves here in San Cristobal can get really good and for the next 4 days we got to surf Carola which is a right hander that when it gets over 6 feet can get really scary. We had some moments of panicking, especially after not having surfed for so long but we also had some fun waves.

It felt so good to have some time off and to enjoy it in this amazing place. The next few days we decided to give the boat a good clean as we had friends arriving for a visit. It was a very special visit as they were coming on their honeymoon and we hadn’t seen them since we left Australia.


Author: Isabel Romero

founder of Mingas por el Mar

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