Just a quick update as I know we now have lots of people interested in what is happening out here in the Galapagos:
- We have food! Yesterday we covered up like a couple of bandits and went to the local market, where we had whatsapp'd an order to the lovely Joanna. Her assistant 'Chico gordito' (chubby boy - ha ha) had most of it organised when we got there. We did however end up with 60 eggs rather than 12 due to our dodgy translation - anyone for a frittata? We also procured the biggest zucchini I ever saw and some bread rolls at the market. We have since conducted a full stock take and definitely have enough food aboard to get us to Queensland.
- We have propane! We discovered when reviewing all our supplies that in Panama our propane tanks were not filled correctly so we were low on cooking gas. This would be a problem for a sail to Australia. Our agent introduced us to Snr Pachay, a mechanic, who set up a makeshift contraption in his yard to transfer propane from his own kitchen supply to our tank yesterday and we collected it this morning. We were supposed to get it yesterday but confusion about the time curfew started meant we had an anxious night with the tank off the boat and rumours abounded about a 24/7 curfew. The new curfew is actually from 2pm to 5am and we were able to collect the full tank this morning.
- Our faith in the human kind is maintained. Going ashore, people were so warm and friendly, offering us help at every corner. A man from the national park even offered to carry my bags. Everyone here is covered with masks (yes I know it probably does nothing but makes you think about distancing) and the majority of people are staying home. The Navy came to visit us yesterday to check if we needed anything and say if we have to empty our black water tanks we can leave the harbour for a sail and return.
- Sadly COVID19 has reached the Galapagos with 4 cases including a local man who came to Isabela from the mainland and not knowing he was sick went all over the small town. In Isabela 90 people - more than 5% of the population are now in full quarantine. The good news is that they expect to bring testing to the archipelago in a few days which will help speed up testing. They were also disinfecting the dirt roads in town today from a tanker. Now we have food and propane we will stay on the boat for at least the next week.
- We have a verbal confirmation we can stay in the Galapagos until at least May 26th, we just need to also get an approval from the Ministry of Defence for the boat, via an extended 'autografo' or cruising permit. Our agent Bolivar seems to have this in hand and we understand a further 60 days should be possible through to June 13th. As the situation continues to deteriorate elsewhere in the Pacific and Australia we plan to hunker down for a while if we can.
Stay safe everyone and virtual hugs if you need one.
Here's some more pictures - from 10 days of isolation.....
|Fishermen dropped by with these - one is a scorpion fish and was yummy filleted|
|How you get a new car at Isabela - winched off a ship and brought ashore at just the right state of tide|
|Our lovely neighbours|
|Empty streets - the flags were for a celebration that was cancelled|
|The rock in the road is a key landmark in town - the Australian flag flies right next to it|
|These guys are taking over|
|Our own private dinghy dock|
|Kicked off the dock to get back to the dinghy|
|This is where we are - so beautiful - Askari and the supply ship over a week to unload it|
|Swimming with penguins yesterday|
|Snr Pachay's workshop - not the usual tourist pic from the Galapagos|
|Veggies galore - all washed before going inside the boat|