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The Two Captains


N 00*18.94; W 089*56.85
June 14, 2001
Leaving the Galapagos - Darwin Bay, Genovesa Island

Mother Nature is smiling on our departure from the Galapagos. We left Academy Bay in company with Capaz, waving mightily and tooting all horns as they peeled off to head West. Lite N Up had already left earlier in the day. We set the genoa and shut down for a delightful 2 1/2 hour sail up to the two Plaza Islands, lying just like a pair of parentheses off the northeast corner of Santa Cruz. We had stopped at these low rocky islands on our dive trip to Gordon Rocks to snorkel with the sea lions, and they were all still there. We deluded ourselves in thinking we'd successfully arranged to arrive after the tour boats when we turned in and there were none there. However, one came late in the afternoon, a schooner anchored behind the islands even later, and two more boat were in before we got the anchor up just after dawn! Still, for the night hours we had it to ourselves, and it was spectacular with a star-filled sky and honking sea lions. Wednesday was cloudless all day, a miracle in the Galapagos, and we made hay sailing smoothly downwind, our course due north, which meant we made our second equator crossing at about 12:45 at longitude 090*01. We split a beer. Several hours later we entered Darwin Bay at Genovesa Island, an island so far away from things we expected to be all alone. Genovesa is a fairly flat, arid island with two extinct volcanoes. One is inland with a lagoon-filled caldera and the other is Darwin Bay, now open to the ocean across a ridge only a few fathoms deep with 20-30 meter cliffs all around. Imagine our astonishment when we found a huge cruise ship at anchor! We tucked up behind them in about 25' of water and had a relaxing couple of hours watching boobies, swallow-tail gulls and frigates work the cliff face. Just about sunset, a dinghy from the cruise ship came by to scold us for being here. We promised to leave at first light; no way we would exit at dusk! Although we knew being here was somewhat questionable, many yachts had insisted it was an okay stop if one just didn't go ashore. Some had even been welcomed aboard tour boats that were here! I think it was just our luck to stumble on a big ship with a higher ranking naturalist. Meanwhile, our sail today was so fine that we have reconsidered our plans slightly. Our friends Kathy and Bob on Briana, whom we haven't seen since San Blas, are at Cocos Island and they think they are in Paradise. The Capaz gang said the same, and it is one of the premier diving destinations of the world. We suddenly realized we have 25 whole days until Don's brother's arrival in Panama, so what the hey! We can afford to squander a few days in a side trip. After all, we are here to explore. Briana's report of 80 degree water and 70' visibility probably clinched it. So, the new course is recalculated and laid in, and when we leave tomorrow we will bear just a bit north of our original plan for 361 miles.



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