Saturday, June 16, 2007

Thursday 14th June

Puerto Ayora
Isla Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands.

0 44.914 S
90 18.417 W

Today was going to be a bit of a mixed up day. Barry had arranged for the refuelers to come out and top up our boat along with Y Not and JJ Moon, apparently it was better to do a whole lot of boats at the same time. The time we were given was between 08.00hrs and 10.00 hrs. We got up well in time for the possible early session, which of course didn’t happen. By 09.00hrs I had decided to go into town and do some wandering around by myself, seeking out souvenirs and the market for fruit and vegetables. Just as I was ready to go Gerry vanished, I spotted him over on Y Not chatting with Ross and indicated that I wanted to get going, he obliged and returned to our boat offering to take me ashore in the dinghy so that I didn’t have to get a taxi – just as well as I had just missed one whilst waiting for him. Gerry dropped me off at the dock and then returned to our boat to await the refuelers. I met Mags on the dock, she had caught the taxi that I missed and like me was going to do a few chores by herself. I took off towards the shops, going to the furthest point first. I stopped at the fish market where the pelicans were waiting patiently for the scraps of fish that the fishermen would throw them. Alongside the pelicans this morning though there was a sea lion that appeared to have eaten his fill and was just basking in the sunshine. I had the camera out and shot a few pictures before you could blink, then I wandered down the pier that extends behind the fish market and peered into the water where there were a couple more sea lions frolicking around, chasing the fish and rolling onto their backs to float in the water. As I watched an enormous ray with a span of about 6 feet glided into the area, I have never seen such a huge ray before, I’m not sure what sort it was but I do know that the sea lions didn’t give it any grief. At about the same time a group of 3
different types of ray swam by me, these were light brown and had quite pronounced heads, I managed to get a photo of these ones as they were quite close to me, I had never seen these types of rays before – it was a morning of spotting new things! Having watched the wildlife for a while I thought I’d better get back to the shopping and continued to walk to the end of the main street where I turned back and began the serious art of browsing. I managed to find a few items to buy as I made my way back to the dock end of the street. Once I had finished with the browsing I thought I’d make my way to where the market was meant to be, no one we knew had visited the market yet and I wasn’t too sure of where I was going but followed the general map I had been given. Sure enough I found the municipal market, at the top of a long incline; it was comprised of several small stores which sold fruit and vegetables fairly cheaply. I bought a few bits and pieces, leaving the heavy stuff for when Gerry could be with me to share the carting it back. By this time my back pack and the bag I was carrying were full and getting heavier by the minute so I made my way to the internet café where I had arranged to meet Gerry at midday. I had no idea what time it was as I hadn’t worn a watch but I thought it wouldn’t matter as I could do my emails and load the blog site whilst I waited for him as it turned out it was 11.45hrs by the time I sat down to a computer and began typing. An hour later there was still no sign of Gerry and I had finished the internet stuff for the day so I packed up my bags and began to wander towards the dock, thinking I would return to the boat. A short distance before the dock I spotted Gerry walking towards me so I waited and we went off together for some lunch where he told me that the refuelers had only just finished with us (not that it took long as we only needed 40 gallons of diesel), they had refuelled Y Not first and poor Barry on JJ Moon, who had organised them in the first place, was still waiting for them to refuel his boat. Gerry had spent the time waiting to clean down one side of the boat – it was looking a bit unloved and grimy, of course now that one side was clean he was going to have to do the other side. During his cleaning a close up inspection showed that we received no damage from the side swipe we took but the trawler had left blue paint marks on our boat, along the toe rail luckily. Once we had finished lunch we caught a water taxi back out to our boat, as we passed the boats that were anchored close to the dock we saw one boat that the sea lions had taken a liking too and they had climbed onto it and were lazing all over the deck and transom of this boat. I got out the camera to take a picture and the very kind taxi driver changed course and drove me right up to the boat so that I could get a good close up shot of these cheeky sea lions.
Back at the boat it was show and tell time, luckily Gerry liked most of my purchases, not that it really mattered whether he did or not. We stashed away the fruit and vegetables and then it was time for a siesta – I tell you these people have the right idea an afternoon siesta is just the thing! Whilst we were reclining and reading we heard Barry on the radio asking when they were going to refuel his boat – this was now 15.30hrs and I have to say he sounded a lot more patient and tolerant than I would have done, as it turned out it was another couple of hours before he got his fuel but at least he did get it in the end. We radioed the other 2 boats to let them know that we were going ashore for dinner and they were welcome to join us, Sue and Ross had already got their dinner cooking on board but Barry and Mags decided to join us. We arrived ashore first and after watching a little of the volleyball which was being played on the foreshore courts we went for a pre dinner drink before walking to the restaurant where we were going to eat. We went to an Italian restaurant where Barry and Mags had eaten once before, the food was pretty good but they had no desserts except for chocolate mousse – oh well if I must! Barry told us of his frustration with the refuelling, considering he had arranged it all in the first place it seemed very unfair that he was the last to be done, still he was better humoured about it than I would have been in the same circumstance. Once the bill was paid we walked back to the dock and caught a water taxi back to our respective boats for the night.



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