Tuesday 24th February and a return passage to Santa Cruz to ready the boats for the start of the crossing to Hiva Oa on Sunday 2nd March. Wednesday and Thursday was taken up trying to reduce the number of items on the repair and maintenance list while waiting to get refueled. Everything in the Galapagos is enshrined in red tape and this was no exception with refuelling from a small boat with jerry cans. you had to estimate the quantity you required and be ready to be short-changed by 10%, it’s just the way the wheels of commerce turn out here.
On Thursday evening we found one of the many street restaurants. A complete street is shut off as darkness falls and the many run down shop fronts and tin shacks are transformed into barbecues and kitchens that attract the locals and cook some fabulous dishes at very good prices and our best meal out to date.
Friday morning and another day on the boat waiting for Thursdays fuel delivery but with this complete we knocked off a few more jobs from the list while watching rather nervously as one of the cruise boats was trying to manoeuvre around the anchorage with no power or steering, just being pushed by the water taxis, we were relieved when he ended up a good distance from Brizo.
The Skippers briefing for the Sunday departure was held in the local community centre and a first forecast for the weather en route was not encouraging with little or no wind for the first five days and a basic synopsis seemed to be to head south west until we can pick up the trade winds that should then take us the three thousand miles to Hiva Oa.
Completion of the briefing and a return to Brizo saw a sorry sight as the rogue cruise boat we had seen earlier had drifted into one of the other ARC boats causing much damage. Unfortunately this was not the only problem and we launched Brizos dinghy to help one boat that had snagged its stern anchor and another that had turned on its anchor and was taking chunks out of its bow as it was bouncing off a steel marker buoy.
Saturday morning was final preparation day and a 6am start to stock up at the local fruit and veg market. The rest of the morning and a flurry of radio activity swapping information and trying to decide which way up we store eggs!! Sunday morning will see the final chapter of Galapagos bureaucracy before we raise the anchor and hoist sail, or more likely turn on the engine.