Saturday, February 20, 2010

Day 3; Galapagos

This is the hatch down to our cabin. We had to climb down the hatch ladder and then enter our cabin. It was only a bit awkward when the ship was out of the harbor and we were riding the swells.

This morning we gathered our things from the hotel and went into town to rent snorkle equipment. The complete gear; facemask, breathing tube, flippers cost us $15 for 5 days. We then went down to the dock for transport out to the Sulidae which was to be our vessel for the cruise of three islands.

The Sulidae is a pirate style boat, but probably was never used by pirates. Originally it used to run between Denmark and England trading commercial goods. At some point it came to South America and eventually ended up as a tourist boat in the Galapagos Islands.

Our tour was to take us to three islands; Santa Cruz, Floreana, and Isabela. Most of the traveling happened at night so the days were spent in port at one of the islands. The worst night was from Floreana to Isabela. We traveled all night and the seas were quite rough. Most of the bunks aboard were oriented from bow to stern so these bunks were constantly rolling from side to side. My bunk was the only one oriented from side to side so my head dived, and then my feet dived. It was a rhythmic motion to some degree, but even so, we didn't get much sleep that night.

This is a picture of the dining area of the yacht. You can see the cook working in the left of the picture in the galley. For the most part, the dining area was quite warm with minimal circulation, but the food was excellent. We never lacked for good food and we had brought enough beer and wine on board so we never lacked for spirit.
Floreo, the cook's mate, was so sweet and made sure all of us had enough to eat. He took special care to make sure all of us were happy.

This is a view of our cabin. In the pirate ship configuration, we must have had the captain's quarters. It was considerably larger than the others and we had windows on all three sides. We were quite comfortable compared to the others.

The other cabins were quite small, and most didn't have the ventilation we had. They had a port hole which opened to the outside. No problem until it rained.
These portholes leaked and beds got soaked.

To compound things, the electricity would cut out so at times, there was no circulation in the smaller cabins. The crew of the Sulidae were having problems with their generator, so electricity was iffy. We actually sailed from Floreana Island to Isabela island without electricity; meaning without running lights. Fortunately, our captain was competent and got us there without incident.
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  1. The Galapagos Islands are the most incredible living museum of evolutionary changes, with a huge variety of exotic species (birds, land and sea animals, plants) and landscapes not seen anywhere else.

  2. Very true. As I post more about our trip, I hope you will get a chance to see some of what we saw.