Las Perlas Islands to San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands

As promised, here is just a quick update to share with you some of the photos we took on our passage from the Las Perlas islands to San Cristobal in the Galapagos.

We enjoyed the sights of the rock formations on the way down the Las Perlas island chain – but think some of the names were wrong.   How about Turtle Rock (it’s actual name was Elefante), Skull Rock and maybe a lion?

The anchorage at Canas was billed as scenic – we thought it was scrubby and isolated.   Lovely sunset though before we went to bed and the scent from the trees smelt lovely in the morning.

Our final Las Perlas anchorage was where we did the bottom cleaning…in very poor visibility…and here is Richard kitting up to go in. Check out the yucky water!

We set off on our passage with little wind and the sea was flat calm…..

We loved watching the birds hitching rides on drift wood…..

And you can’t beat sunsets and sun rises at sea…..

Loved using the pole and it definitely worked for us, so was glad we made the decision to buy and fit one.

On the way we had a stowaway who, sadly, died….

We were worried about processed pork and dairy produce being allowed into the Galapagos so decided to have a huge brunch using them up whilst we had flat conditions.

And the blue-faced booby joined us for the Equator celebrations.

After the celebrations we ate English pub-style bangers, mash and beans….lovely!

Approaching San Cristobal was magical…especially the sight of Kicker Rock…which was very impressive.

The first day at anchor in Wreck Bay, San Cristobal, was frustrating.   It rained heavily for most of the day – which was great for cleaning the salt off of Morphie – but the officials wouldn’t come out to see us in the poor weather conditions.   So we waited all day to no avail and, of course, we were in quarantine so can’t go ashore.   Eventually, five o’clock, we decided they weren’t coming so we had a few celebratory beers before having an early night.

This morning, Tuesday 22 March, we awoke to find three sea lions asleep on Morphie’s transom.   The fender defences clearly didn’t work LOL.   They had to be prodded and poked to vacate their berth!

At 7.15 am our agent, Bolivar, turned up – and took our money and paperwork away with him.   His parting shot was ‘clean the bottom of the boat now’ before the officials come to inspect it at 9.00 am.

We were surprised at this….after all we had spent hours in Las Perlas cleaning Morphie….but we jumped in and checked it out anyway.   We were horrified to see that there was a scum line all around the hull and, at the stern, there were lots of big biting buggers – a bit like mini-lobsters – clinging on for dear life.   We worked really hard in the water scrubbing the hull again and managed to get Morphie cleaned up in preparation for the officials to visit.   While we were in the water we had sea lions swimming around us wanting to play but, sadly, we had to get on with the job.   That will have to wait for another day sigh….    It does show you, however, that these guys are more interested in taking money rather than stopping foreign species entering their eco-system.

At 10.00 am the officials turned up – all eight of them!!!   Not sure what they all did although there was lots of paperwork being passed around and lots of stamping and photo taking.   They did check flares (and took three away that were out of date); fire extinguishers; EPIRB; GPS; life raft; food stuffs; heads; etc etc….   And the snorkeler went in the water to check the hull.   Thankfully we passed with a big thumbs up…not bad for US $1370!   Cher Ching.

We were then fumigated so had to leave Morphie for at least four hours…so went ashore by water taxi called Black Pearl.

We arrived to find sleeping sea lions everywhere….on boats….on steps…on benches…on rocks…. This is just sea lion heaven!

And lots of pretty nice looking crabs too…

The anchorage is pretty busy with a variety of boats – not many transient yachts though.   Guess the expense and the rigid formalities keep them away.

We wandered the town…got some information on diving….damn expensive at $160 per person for a two tank dive but hey we are in the Galapagos so what can you do?   It appears that the prices are fixed as all dive shops we spoke to quoted the same price.   We found a nice bar, had lunch and caught up on the internet.   We also scoped out a land trip we are likely to do and maybe even a bit of hiking!   Finally we came back to Morphie to do the blog and have an early night.

Bye for now