Friday, April 30, 2010

Day 7

Ahoy there maties! We are having many challenges with waves on our beam, especially when down flying, etc. (of course I had forgotten all about that), but our forward progress is great. We did about 150 miles yesterday, and the steady winds are continuing to blow 12-15 kts. This is definitely not the sleigh ride downwind cruise we were envisioning, but Sidewinder is smiling as she slides through the slippery seas.

Cloudy weather has been bringing small showers, and the temp is just right. Our refrigeration system seems to have lost the refrigerant somehow and we do not have the proper valve we need to add more freon, so we have resolved to finish all fresh food and live out of the freezer, which is still very cold as of today. Hopefully we will not lose too much food in the long run, and, as Marc said, way back in the olden days, there was no refrigeration, and many survived for months. Luckily we do not need to eat fresh turtle meat! (How sad to think of how many tortoises were taken by the shippers.) We cannot fish since we need to eat what is frozen, and at least we know that is an option if we need it. Hope the sun comes out today; that will help cheer us up. Actually, we both delight in the idea of not having to worry about the energy consumption issue, but we certainly hope we will be able to find a solution when we get to French Polynesia. Ah, the life of a sailor! Our adventure continues ...... 

Location: S 4 degrees 03.8 min W 103 degrees 33.3 min.  David has become quite the SSB Barefoot Net controller who welcomes those who can hear and check in every morning at 7:30. He is great at it! At night, we can touch base with all our friends who left a week before we did, and it is great being able to talk to them and know how they are doing. Mike and Jodie are behind us about 40 mi. and we are sailmailing to keep in touch. It is very cool to know there are others out here with us on this vast ocean.  Love to all, Suz

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Day 6

Beautiful morning sunrise with the full moon leading the way. Wind is about 10 kts with a mixed up sea which pushes us around a bit. When the wind picks up, it gives us more momentum through the waves, but we certainly have to be careful what we wish for!

This morning at 7:35 your time our location is: S 03 degrees 47.5 and W 101 degrees 00 minutes. I hope you can track our progress on Google Earth because it is pretty cool to see that we are well on our way with about 630 miles behind us and about 2360 miles to go! WOW!

David successfully re-plumbed our refrig system and now she seems to be out of refrigerant once again. CRAZY! With lack of enough sleep and frustration, our sunset time was spent trying to re-group and re-energize. We are ready to meet the new day with its challenges and will let you know how it goes. The iPod continues to help make the night watches magical. Love you, Suzi

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Day 5

We are S 03 degrees 30, W 98 degrees 24 minutes and we are moving along at 7 kts. in 14 kts. of breeze with sideways swells knocking us around often. Guess it's a bit too much to ask for winds and waves pushing us comfortably all at once!

David has the wind monitor working and we (I say with hesitation) are needing to focus on the refer which has stopped functioning due to a problem with the raw water intake system.....we think. There seems to always be something!

Last evening we had a killer sunset mosaic with puffy clouds lit by brilliant oranges and pinks with intermittent powder blue skies and yellow-orange-pink streaks surrounding the firey orange ball of light going down; at the same time, the full moon appeared in all of its glory. What an awesome show! Fingers and toes are crossed that we can fix the refer problem with ease. Love to you, S&D

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Day 4

Starting our fourth day at sea, we finally have some good consistent 8 kt. winds with a strong current pushing us toward our final destination. Because our days have been light on wind, we have been slowly slinking along with intermittent Perkins' power across the glassy spots until now; it seems like we finally have picked up the breeze everyone looks for when going this direction and we hope we are now going to cruise with the wind starting with an average of 6 kts.

The seas are quite calm and it is absolutely beautiful out here on the intense, translucent blue ocean. Yesterday David and I couldn't seem to get enough of just hanging out on Sidewinder's deck, gazing out over the vast space around us and feeling a oneness with its entirety. This is why we love to sail. We are fortunate, so far, to feel safe and sound, gliding through the ocean with ease; fear and frustration are the barriers and at this moment we are free to just be. PHEW!!! Feels great!

Today we will test out our ability to set up the monitor windvane for the first time, and, with luck, we will be able to use this wonderful wind to steer Sidewinder to the Marquesas, instead of using Auto (auto-pilot) who has been steering most of the way so far. Auto has done a stellar job but could use a rest, while saving energy. We are pretty spoiled, not having to individually steer 24/7; cruising has definitely changed a great deal since I last crossed the ocean blue! The infamous iPod is amazing on moonlit night watches, and we both are reminded of how much we love our friends. Thank you friends and family for being with us on this journey. Hope all is well at home.  Suzi

I asked D&S to send their locations with the sailmails so that those of us with GoogleEarth could track their journey. - K.

Kris- Our present location is 02 degrees 57.039 minutes South and 095 degrees 52.709 minutes West. From now on I will write it 2 57 S  95 52 W. This is the way we call them out while on the SSB net every morning and evening. Life is good aboard with a dolphin show going on as we speak. Suzi is hooting and hollering topside. Got to see this-  David

Sunday, April 25, 2010

On their Way!

We left yesterday at 1400 with Savannah, motor sailing away from Isla Isabella into the night until we began to find enough wind. Around midnight Perkins took a rest and we had a lovely sail with the shimmering silver moonlight leading the way. Luckily, even though the winds lightened up, we have been able to sail since then, and we are now back up to 7kts with Sidewinder averaging about 4.7. The skies are clear and we hope, as we move southwest, the trades will begin to pick up. Refrigeration is working (yay!) and all is well. We are both thoroughly enjoying the quiet, reading, napping, munching, and taking deep, thankful breaths. Happy Birthday, sister Jane and lots of love to everyone.
Suzi and David

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Outta There (I'm Pretty Sure)

Received this from Suzi yesterday: We are out of here tomorrow around noon!  YAHOO!  The refrigeration system seems to be working now, but needs to have time to bring all the temps down. It has been running most of the day and will probably need some of tomorrow to get everything cold enough to keep it down. Made the last of the provisioning run this morning and are back in town this evening to have dinner with Jodie and Michael. I send you a few great memories of our stay in the Galapagos.  Love to everyone. We will sailmail as we cruise along. EEHAAAA! Suzi and David

Monday, April 19, 2010

Update on the Update

We slid into the anchorage last night/early morn at 1A.M. with no problem and dropped anchor behind Savannah. Mike and Jodie picked us up this morning, and we did find the refrigeration man who seems to be able to help us after ordering and getting what he needs tomorrow morning from Isla Santa Cruz and he will work on locating and fixing the leak manana. I am bringing my frozen goods into town later this afternoon and can put them in the freezer at the local market, Danielita's. Progress!!!! The owner of the market, Luis, has a farm upcountry and is also a guide; we are hoping to arrange a trip at the end of the week to explore the volcano and get fresh fruits and veggies to, once again, carry us to the Marquesas. Meanwhile we will be eating all the stored veggies in the refer in the next couple of days and Life is good!  I am just so amazed at how many cruisers have been on the radio offering to help us in any way possible, and the locals here have been wonderful. Again, we are so fortunate. Being stuck on Isla Isabella with Mike and Jodie certainly is not bad. I get to swim with the sea lion pups and the penguins one more time. :)  Love to you, Suzi

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sailmail Update on the U-Turn

It is 6:00 PM  and we are still motoring along the island with the wind and strong current on our nose. David tore out the refrigeration system, not an easy task I might add, and we found the refrigerant canister to be very corroded but couldn't locate the leak. Hopefully someone will be able to help us. Mike on Savannah has already found a refrigerant mechanic after listening to the net last night, even though we have been unable to make contact with them personally. What great friends they have become. We are hoping to leave with them next weekend and start anew.

I have found myself quite emotional and useless, with a sore neck which just doesn't want to go away, but we have both regrouped and are trying to enjoy the heat and hum of wonderful Perkins. Cross your fingers we can find some where to put our frozen food. Actually, I hope we can find help tomorrow and be back in business. Love, Suzi


Perkins is running well as we slowly make our way back to Villamil [town in the Galapagos] against a very strong current which helped us comfortably leave the anchorage with emotional elation yesterday around noon. The winds were favorable, and David and I were full of mixed feelings....excitement and tension.

We spent yesterday morning with Jodie and Mike, doing the last of the shopping and interneting, had breakfast, and enjoyed the colorful, bright sunny day. We left alone at 12:30, with the comforting assurance that many boats are out there, and we can touch base each morning and evening by way of SSB radio on our own net. Once we left the lee of the island, the wind picked up to 12 knots, along with the waves and strong current behind us, perfect for heading across the wild blue yonder, but it was directly aft of us, and we really do not have much down wind experience. Using the pole to make best use of the headsail is not fun at night, so we opted to head away from the rhumb line and go farther south, which, at this stage, is quite fine.

The freezer had been running for about an hour, and I decided it was cold enough to turn it off in order to save battery energy. Lo and behold, a fog-like mist was floating out of the R/A/D Assembly refrigerant cannister, which appears to have rusted through on the top, and when we looked for signs of freon in the window, there were none. Even after turning the system down, gases were escaping from the top of the cannister for a while. I think we are lucky to have found this problem while still in sight of Isla Isabella; can you imagine no refrigeration system for the 3,000 mile trip, discovered a few hundred miles into the trip? YOW! Our problem getting back is the strong current and wind on our nose, so we are still motoring, at 8:30 in the morning after trying to sail all night long. This venture of cruising certainly is differnet than we had imagined.

The huge dolphins just visited us and gave us a positive lift. We will email when we arrive in town tomorrow. Love to all, S&D

Saturday, April 17, 2010

No, Really this Time

I've been emailing with David all morning, but he swears that they are leaving today . . . any minute, in fact. I just purchased a new camera to replace the one that was ruined in the panga debacle; I will ship it to the Marquesas when they arrive, which should be in 2-3 weeks from today. Visualize smooth sailing. -Kris

Friday, April 16, 2010

Then Again . . .

Yesterday afternoon David was climbing the mast to replace our main halyard line for the last of the preparations and found a problem with our spinnaker block. He replaced the block and the line, and by that time, it was 5:00 and we were really tired. Victoria, A Capella, Freedom, and Kamaya had all managed to leave before 3:30, so we just decided to chill and not push our luck. Leaving on Friday is out of the question for David, who believes this would be bad luck, so we will leave with another catamaran named Wind Caper tomorrow morning around 8:00. We are all keeping in touch by way of SSB radio twice a day, so we will be fine and much more rested.

We took the opportunity to visit Jodie and Mike on Savannah and had a wonderful evening playing cribbage, a continuation of an ongoing tourney with them since Panama. We rested well last night, have finished cleaning up the boat and took the opportunity to get more water in town. When we truly do take off tomorrow morning, we will be refreshed and ready to soak up our new adventure. Love to all!  Suzi

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Suzi Sets Sail

The pictures of the penguins, blue-footed boobies, and the marine iguanas are from the little island across from the anchorage. It was an early morning adventure along the trail and along the coast of the island; the tour boats arrived just after we left and we managed to not get into trouble. Yay! The turtles at the center just outside of town are amazing, quite proficient at showing just how slowed down one can get. The biggest of the females definitely run away as fast as they can when they see the big guys coming for them. We caught the early morning sex sessions and it did not look like very much fun!  Glad I am not a tortoise!  The last photo is the one taken from Kelita's camera which did survive our calamity out at Tunnels. We all look quite happy and we were.......very thankful to be alive and rescued. The panga in the background ended upright and wedged into a rock, with the help of us all. What you cannot see are the huge meat-eating horseflies who could not resist all of our fresh tantalizing bodies, even with rash guards on. YIKES!  Like we needed to be eaten alive after surviving the capsizing panga  We are on our way to the Marquesas this afternoon and will take with us lots of fresh veggies and fruits from the farm we visited, and wonderful memories of an exotic Galapagos journey. Love to all! Suzi

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Off to the South Pacific!

We are leaving tomorrow [tax day] around 12:00 noon and there are about 5 or 6 boats leaving at the same time. We have even formed a net so we can talk on the SSB radio every morning and evening keeping track of each other. As for how long it will take us to get to the Marquesas all I can say is your guess is as good as mine. I hope we will get there in 20-25 days but the weather and wind will be the telling factor. Google a thing called Passage and click on the box in the map that is near the Galapagos. This site can tell you the weather we will be expecting for the next 7 days but its accuracy strays a bit after 4 days. We will keep in touch with you via sailmail, so don´t worry about us; we will do just fine. See ya,  David

This from Suzi, later: We did have great fun at the tortoise center just outside of town this morning;  the huge tortoises from here are mesmerizing to watch. They seemed to be so personable and probably could tell us many stories of long ago Galapagos. 

The day was absolutely stunning after a good rain this morning with vibrant colors everywhere. Yesterday we visited a farm up country and were able to pick fresh fruit and veggies and purchase two pounds of organic coffee grown right there. How cool is that!  You would never guess that it was so tropical and lush just a few miles away from the coast. The penguins have been going nuts in the bay today, after the fresh shower and the aqua green water is intense. It is hard to leave but we are excited to move on to even more intense beauty. Actually, the areas are so different that we cannot compare. What a treat to have been able to be here with all of the animals and what an amazing feeling to finally be on our way to the real South Pacific. YOW!!!  Love to everyone.     

Ah yes, I was hoping to order a new camera for taking underwater pictures, since our precious little Canon died with the capsizing event, but just didn`t have time. Also, I am down to one pair of sunglasses now, my old Oakleys so wish me luck!  Maybe when we get to the Marquesas we will be able to connect with internet once again and order a camera which Paula could bring. We do really think we will be able to hook up with them. Ah, so much to is time for this place to close.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Sobos Escape with their Lives: David's Version

The day started normal with a trip planned to the "Tunnels," which is a lagoon area that has lava tunnels you can snorkel through and a great place to see Seahorses. We took off at 9:00 am and after a 1/2 hour of pounding away in a panga going at least 30 knots (a lot faster than any of our boats go!!), the driver slowed down and asked us if we really wanted to go and do the Tunnels, as the surf was pretty high, and the trip in might be a bit hairy. We all told him that it was his decision and that we could skip it if the conditions weren´t right. After pondering a bit, he started in toward shore with his assistant standing on the bow pointing the way between reefs as the waves broke all around us.

Any of you who may have gone in through big surf like this know that there is a time when you look behind you and pick a lull in the surf and head for the beach. And that´s what this Captain did, following in the last wave that broke in front of us. But as we got closer to the shore, which in this case was just a series of lava reefs, it became obvious that there was no place to escape the reef. The opening he was looking for was nowhere to be found, and he had no alternative but to turn back out to sea. Yeah, well maybe I should say "try" to turn back out to sea. Because halfway through the turn we got hit broad side by a wave!! I saw it coming, and all I could say is, "I don´t believe this is happening." But it did and it wasn´t pretty. The boat capsized throwing all of us into the water and for a moment I was trapped under the panga as the surf pushed it over the reef. When I finally popped up the first thing I thought of was, "Where is Suzi??" Not seeing her on my side of the boat, I crawled up onto the boat to get a better look, but just as I was about to look another wave hit us, and over I went with the boat pushing me through the water. When I came up this time, I swam away from the boat, and I finally was able to see Suzi swimming away from the boat. What a relief..... I can´t tell you how the emotions flowed through me. But I didn´t have time to focus on that because the surf was still pounding in, pushing us toward the reef, and all of our stuff was floating around. I started grabbing what I could and made it to the nearest reef patch that was out of the water and crawled on up.

Let me tell you that lave reefs are sharp as razors and all of us were soon cut all over our bodies but thankfully nothing too deep. The one thing lave reefs don´t do like their coral reef counter parts is create infections from the living organisms that make the coral reefs up. Lava reefs seem to be pretty clean because none of my cuts look infected. So here we were, 30 miles from nowhere and shipwrecked on a reef about 100 yards from shore. Miraculously we were able to recover all of our shoes except one of my sandals!!! I´m so bummed I lost it because as everyone knows, one Rainbow sandal isn´t worth much. Now it was time to help the Captain out who was trying his best to save the boat by pulling it into a more secure area but wasn´t having much success. Every time we tried to move it, the surf would pick it up and put it anywhere it wanted which sometimes was way too close to us swimming in the water. After a hour of trying to muscle this heavy assed panga with its engines still down and dragging across the reef, it became obvious that the only thing that was going to happen sooner or later was one of us getting hurt. After avoiding for the 3rd of 4th time getting trapped between the boat and the reef, I called it quits and climbed up onto the reef and informed the Captain that we couldn't´t do anything else and that it was time to start concentrating on getting out of there.
He agreed and off we started for a lagoon about a 1/2 hour's hike/swim towards the lagoon where there were more tour boats "hopefully." As it turned out we did find a boat that gave us a ride back and the funny thing is we were back at our boat about the time we were supposed to be back after a full day of fun in the sun. We were all so lucky!! That none of us got hurt badly was a miracle and that we were able to recover as much of our gear as we did was just short of amazing.

As it turned out all of us lost our sunglasses, some of them very expensive. Suzi´s and my digital camera that fits into our waterproof casing got wet and I´m afraid is toast. Naturally it wasn´t in the waterproof case when we went over. Robert and Kalita lost their dive gear, which included some very high tech and expensive mask and snorkels, and Steve and Darusha got off really cheap as all they lost were their sunglasses. For how we had gotten rolled over, how big the surf was and how vast the reef area was, it was a miracle we got back what we did. It was a day all of us will remember for the rest of our lives. It was like getting caught in an avalanche with 5 friends and everyone coming out unhurt. I shouldn't´t say completely unhurt because the boat judo chopped Suzi on the neck somewhere along the way and Kalita´s shin looks she was in a knife fight with a midget and all of us have cuts on every leg and arm and on our butts. But no serious injuries!! Amazing is all I can say and once again, how lucky we all were. So today we are shopping for our departure which will be this coming Thursday and trying not to do anything very exciting. We all had our fill yesterday.....

By the way, "all of us" was Robert and Kalita off "Freedom," Steve and Darusha off "Scream" and Suzi and I along with the captain and his assistant. The bottom line was the Captain blew it!!  Turns out he didn´t have the best rep. among the cruising community and was only skippering the boat for the absentee owner?? What is going to happen to the panga and those almost new 200 hp. Yamaha outboards is your guess. Personally I couldn´t care less because I feel like the captain almost killed someone yesterday, and he should be counting his blessings. He had the gall to ask us to tell anyone who asked that the engines died when we were coming in instead of the truth that he came into the wrong place. Nobody has confronted any of us about what happened up there but as for me, I don´t feel up to lying for the guy. I don´t like to lie to anyone for any reason (as a kid I always got caught) so I'm not about to lie for the guy who almost killed my wife or myself. But it will probably never be heard about again except by me. I´ll tell this story many times I´m sure!!!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Fond Memories of Isla San Cristobal

Good waves, incredible encounters with the creatures of the land and sea, and great times with new friends. What more could we ask for?!!!!

Waves from our anchorage in Isla San Cristobal

Fun in the Galapagos

We have swam with so many seals and turtles I feel like one of them. They are so casual about swimming around you and looking you right in the face, it seems they are wondering why are you here ?? But before these snorkling trips the day starts with coffee on the bow checking out the waves as the sun rises. The view of the surf spot we have been going to from the boat is perfect and only about 1/4 mile away. It couldn' be better. One of the photos I'm going to include here is of a set of waves that came through, there isn't anyone surfing them as the waves sort of cleaned everyone out of the line up. Robert off the boat Freedom is the goofy foot guy charging the big waves and I'm the one cruising on the smaller ones. Of all the places we have stopped at on this adventure the Galapagos Islands are my favorite so far. The clear warm (but not to warm) water, the surf, the diving along with the small comfortable town has made all the boat work and hassels worth it. I feel like this cruise has just started !!! We are off the the Isla Isabella this afternoon where I heard there were more waves !!! Wish us luck.....

Friday, April 2, 2010

Snorkling Trip

We went on a dive trip today with some other cruisers and had a ball swimming with turtles and seals. They (seals) were so playful and having as much fun as we were. It was a gas and we may go back to the same place to do it again. The cool thing about it was there wasn't anyone else there. We had got up early and were on our way by 6:30 so none of the party dive boats that normally go there were there yet so it was just us. The armada started showing up just as we were leaving. Made the whole experience much more personal.  -David

There is nothing like this experience. What a rush!!!! The pups played with us all morning long, getting so close that at first I thought they might bump into me and bite or something. Never did they enter your space, but they weren`t afraid to swim as close as possible, whiskers and all, and look at you eyeball to eyeball. WOW! They are constantly moving in ballerina style flowing circles around each other and around you when you are with them; they cruise endlessly underneath you, upside down, and over you with smiling eyes and flipping tails. I danced and danced, wishing I could move as gracefully and as energetically as they could. What an amazing experience!! The turtles, as well, welcomed us to cruise with them, looking from side to side nonchalantly, using their flippers as sea wings. The intensity of the morning adventure stayed with me all day; Kelita, Robert, David and I all kept on smiling throughout the day, knowing how very magical and special our time was with the creatures
of the sea. We are so fortunate to be here with the animals.  - Suzi

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Snorkling, Surfing & Staying out of Jail

Hola!  You would love this wonderful place, and there is so much to explore. We visited la playa de Loberia which is close by and snorkeled yesterday afternoon after David had the morning surfing session with Rob (from the vessel, Freedom). His young beautiful wife went with us, and we swam with four huge turtles for about an hour. It was so awesome. The seals do own this place and are really fun to watch. They were all around us at the beach, especially the pups (about 10 of them), and they seemed to just ignore us as they rolled in the little shore waves, chased fish inside the rocks, and slept in between playtime. We saw a huge marine iguana on the trail leading to the beach; it blended so well with the lava rocks along the ocean, it was hard to spot him at first, even though he was HUGE!  Wish I had some pictures to share but I forgot the camera; Kelita will send me her photos, and I will pass them on to you.

We had dinner with Ed and Cornelia on A Cappella last night, catching up on lots of sea stories and enjoying their enthusiasm regardless of endless problems. This morning David, Rob, and I went out to the point and surfed. It was crystal clear and as we anchored Worm, a "flock" of beautiful orange-brown rays swam by, with a large manta beneath them. I caught about four waves and then I went snorkling and found another turtle to follow. David had some great rides on glassy, easy-going surf shared only with Rob for about two hours, and we feel renewed!

While David surfed at my insistence, I spent all yesterday morning with Bolivar trying to work out the problems with our extended visa. Luckily, Kelita, who speaks fluent Spanish, was by my side, helping to translate our needs and frustrations, and communicating thoroughly with Bolivar, our agent, and his wonderful wife, Grace, who did everything they could to plead our case. No one wanted to help us, so now we are renegades, and I quite like the challenge! Of course, at first I was very upset by the injustice, but now I am ready to fight if anyone wants to arrest us. It ends up that the stamp issued by the officials in Guayaquil gave us 30 days from the time it was issued, which was Feb. 27, instead of the extension beginning the day our visa would have expired, March 14. Why would anyone pay $60 pp for a 30 day visa extension which would expire two weeks after the original visa expiration date? I specified in a letter explaining in Spanish that we needed at least one month after March 14 in order to explore the Galapagos. Anyway, it appears that we arrived in the Galapagos without a legal visa and that if the authorities (policia) really cared, they could fine us $200 pp and send us out of the country. This government is absolutely nuts and, as renegades, I will not be allowed to come back to Ecuador without problems because we will not be able to get an official stamp leaving the country, but, OH WELL! Bolivar and Grace felt that if they pursued it further, they might truly get us into trouble, so we quit trying. We will be fine, because the Port Captain and other officials who checked us in do not care at all about our visa. We have paid big time for an autografo, giving us permission to anchor off of three islands, and we have national park entry cards, giving us the right to explore the phenomenal flora and fauna.

After enjoying a few more sights and surfing a few more days, we will leave for Isla Isabella, the most beautiful of the islands, and Sidewinder will stay there for the remainder of our time. Toward the end of our stay, we will take a ferry to the more developed Isla of Santa Cruz with Rob and Kelita, visit the Darwin Center, check out other sights, and reprovision with fresh food for our South Pacific adventure. There is much to do on Isabella, and we hope to stay there about two weeks. The port captain there will issue our international zarpe [clearance form] and send us on our way to the Marquesas. We have proactively done everything possible that we needed to do to be  legal visitors in this country, and I know that all will work out fine. It certainly made us aware that we should have double-checked what the officials issued to us. Not speaking the language is certainly a disadvantage! It has made me empathetic to immigrants who do not speak our language well, and I truly hope that there is much more possibility of justice in our own country. It is difficult to say, since we are not the targeted poor who must deal with this kind of shit. I certainly am grateful for what we do have, and I believe there are at least people who do stand up for justice and work very hard to uphold this basic human right! I will not miss this government, but I miss my Ecuadorian friends already.

This part of Ecuador, the Galapagos, is amazing, and we are so happy to be here on our wonderful Sidewinder. The seals play endlessly around the boat and everywhere else, and the water is so darn clear and refreshing, it is hard to stay out of it. We look forward to more days of fun in the sun, swimming, exploring, and being with the animals who don't seem to mind at all that you are in their territory, as long as you appreciate them. Getting so close to the wild ones gives me a sense of being just a tiny being in a vast world of living creatures, and this experience is definitely intensifying my appreciation for the miracle we call life. We will send wildlife pictures soon as we continue on. Love to all!