It’s quite a place. We had 11 inspectors going over the boat on arrival, and a pair of divers who inspected the hull for contaminants (e.g. barnacles). We were OK, but one boat in the fleet failed the hull inspection and had to go 25 nm off-shore, pay for hull cleaning and pay a fine. Bad luck.
Once cleared in you are only allowed to visit three islands and not permitted to snorkel, dive, hike, use your tender or any way explore without a tour guide. One wonders if they really want us there.
Having said that, the sights are unique. San Cristobal is the island where it’s impossible not to trip over sea lions in the street. Isabela has major colonies of the blue-footed booby, and Santa Cruz has it all – iguanas, sea turtles, boobies, sea lions, dolphins, the lot.
Since it’s our second time in Galapagos (the first was in 2018), it was great to see it from our own boat. Will we return? Probably not…
855 nautical miles, 5 days, but unfortunately, after the first day, there was no wind. We motored at reduced speed so we had a better chance of catching fish (not many fish that you want on board can swim at 8 kt).
At least, motoring, you don’t have to worry about a night-time squall requiring a sail-plan change, but we used 670 litres of fuel which won’t be cheap in Galapagos.
At midnight on the 12th of February we crossed the equator. I woke up the crew (fast asleep, as usual) and Karen came on deck with a bottle of champagne and an “Equator Cake”. After a suitable celebration I retired in order to be compos mentis for the Galapagos arrival.
We’re now on San Cristobal island, Galapagos, preparing for inspection so we can continue to stay. Fingers crossed they don’t find my stack of Cheesey Puffs!