March 2010

There is a beautiful beach called Tortuga Bay. It is about a 45 minute walk on a wooded trail. We carried the skin board there. There are lots of marine iguanas. There is a lagoon at the far end where you can supposedly see white tipped reef sharks but the water was so churned up because of the Tsunami ( I gather) that we couldn't see anything. The kids all practiced skin boarding even I took a few turns trying it out.

Because the World Arc is in town, The Rock has happy hour every night (otherwise alcoholic drinks here are very expensive)! So we headed out for a few Cuba Libre's then found an excellent outdoor bbq restaurant. They close a whole street off and put out tables and chairs for all the little restaurants. We had bbq'ed corn on the cob and chicken, what a treat.

Poor Andrea was sea sick at anchor this morning. It is so rough here, I'm not sure why they would put their main port in this unprotected anchorage. It is just not pleasant. So we decided we needed to get off the boat for the day, we threw the school books aside and took a tour of the highlands, we hired a taxi driver just off the street and for $10 he took us to see the crater rim of two volcanoes (Los Gemelos), twin pit craters formed when large caverns left empty by flowing lava collapsed on themselves.

We then toured a large lava tube that was just massive. The driver dropped us off on one end and we walked from one end to the other. At the end we had to crawl through an opening about 3 feet tall. We were completed covered in mud and dirt. But it didn't matter as the next stop we got even dirtier. He took us to a cattle ranch in Bellavista. It was pouring rain, we had to borrow rain boots, of course they don't have kids sizes so Cari wore a size 36, the smallest we could find, but she managed to not fall in the mud with them. We tromped through the mud and huge puddles to have a look at some tortoises in the wild. They seemed quite content to sit in algae ponds and eat leaves. We were so wet when we finished our tour that we decided it would be best to head back down to town, where it was sunny and warm.

Our friends on Kamaya showed up today and we took the opportunity to get off the boat again and tour around with them. We went back to the Charles Darwin Centre (it was feeding time for the baby turtles), did a few errands around town and then took a cab back to the Highlands to see the Tunnel of Love called for the heart shaped hole in its ceiling. We entered through collapsed roof sections, the tunnels are on private land so we paid a $3.00 entrance fee to the nice lady and her dad who live there. Again, we walked from one end to the other, they were huge and high and very dark. The kids had a hoot running through.

The kids took their skateboards and rollerblades as there is actually a ramp in the middle of town. Ryan was in heaven and his enthusiam is rubbing off on his big sister who has now taken a liking to skateboarding as well. They spend hour after hour skateboarding there until it was time to put up the volleyball nets for the local daily game.

We met up with sv Tyee, sv Tumshi and sv Kamaya for a happy hour drink at The Rock, then we went out to dinner for pizza. Tumshi is leaving tomorrow for the Marquesas so we said goodbye to them. Hope they have a safe trip.

Charles Darwin Research Centre, Charles Darwin Travel Agency, Charles Darwin Tours, Charles Darwin T-shirt shop; mv The Darwin; Charles Darwin,,,,, okay I think they are milking this enough already.

March 5, 2010-Santa Cruz to Isla Isabella, Galapagos -- 48nm

We had a very cool experience on the sail to Isabella. We sailed right across a sunken volcano by Tortuga Island. We anchored in a very peaceful calm anchorage with only a few boats. Pure heaven after Santa Cruz.

Kids Boats Rock! Out of the 6 boats in the anchorage, 4 of them are kids boats, our kids are in heaven, everybody is happy! There is Tyee, Kamaya, us and Elsie. The kids can swim here and have spend hours, kayaking, swimming back and forth between boats, playing on the tube and generally having a great time.

It is so beautiful here and full of wildlife in the water and out. The penguins and sea lions swim right under the boat. We have seen turtles and spotted eagle rays swim by. We even saw a pair of mating turtles float by. Hundreds or maybe even thousands of blue footed boobies fly by around dusk and crash dive for fish. it is quite a site and we have first class seats from our own cockpit. How cool is that?

There was a nice walk over ponds to the tortoise breeding centre, it was closed but we were able to walk around and see the tortoises anyway. We actually did see some breeding. We saw 2 flamingos along the way.