Saturday, May 5, 2012

Photos From Our Passage to the Galapagos

Additional text for the following photos is included in the blog posts from April 9-May 1, 2012. A brief description of each photo is also included here.

Our last view of Paradise Village, Nuevo Vallarta

Leaving Puerto Vallarta

This is the type of vessel we sometimes pass in the middle of the night and represents one of the reasons why sailboats keep a watch. 

Ship headed into Acapulco

We had a calm beginning to our passage with beautiful sky and seascapes. I'm not a talented enough photographer (yet) to bring you the night sky and seascapes.

Sunrise over Silhouette

Cloud reflections on a calm ocean

Beautiful cloud formations along the way

End of a perfect day
Boobies attempted to land on almost every part of the boat. They were unsuccessful in landing on the spreaders, masthead, and the top of the spinnaker (sail!) They made successful landings on the bow pulpit, spinnaker pole (when the sail was not set), solar panel (once), and lifelines. We saw mostly brown and masked boobies at sea, but we may have also seen some juvenile red-footed boobies.  (The juvenile forms are brown, and it's difficult for a novice to tell the difference between brown boobies and juvenile brown or red-footed boobies)

"King of the Hill" winners

Booby on the bow pulpit

A failed attempt to land on the spinnaker pole

And some who succeeded

A swallow also came for a rest one stormy night.

Any port in a storm
Next we entered the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ or doldrums), where we spent a lot of time dodging squalls and some time sailing through squalls. We also spent a lot of time (a week) not moving or barely moving.

A squall from a distance

Another image of a squall in which the almost vertical column of rain is highlighted

A squall line

What squalls look like on radar (This image does not show a squall line.)

The skipper became an expert at dodging squalls.

But there were some we couldn't avoid.

Patrick steering through a minor squall

This is the view from inside a minor squall. (If it was a major squall, I wouldn't be taking pictures!) The rain pelts the surface of the sea and beats it down until it has a soft, misty texture. You can see the smooth-downed wave tops approaching from a distance. Suddenly, the sky around you disappears; you are enveloped in gray; and you know you're going to get...hammered!  

Inside a squall

Squalls weren't all bad, though. They brought their own beauty.

Rainbow in squall country

Morning light in the ITCZ

Although it sometimes never seemed like we would, we finally made it through the doldrums and were moving again!

Unfortunately, our ideal sailing conditions didn't last, and we soon had to shift from a reach to a beat.   

Main and jib as seen from the cabin top

Sails in concert

Kirsten tightening the outhaul as we trim the sails for a beat

Our beautiful main from Port Townsend Sails. Lazyjacks by Kirsten

As the sweltering heat of the ITCZ was alleviated by wind, doing chores became easier again.

Laundry day on Silhouette

We made landfall in the Galapagos with our first view of Isla Pinta on April 29, 2012.

 The next day, we crossed the Equator...

...and made the appropriate offerings to Neptune.

It killed Patrick to pour good rum overboard, but he wasn't about to
tempt fate by not giving King Neptune his offering.

The wind picked up just in time for our arrival at Isla San Cristobal.

Approaching Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, our first port in the Galapagos


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