Previous Adventures


Sailing Log



What does Trafficated mean?



Written by: Daryl

Photos by: Daryl and Joar *


 Evolving in Galapagos

    Arriving just after sunset, in the dark, into Academy Bay at Isla Santa Cruz, Galapagos wasn’t something that we planned to do.  But, if we were going to become seasoned sailors, we knew that we were going to have to experience this sooner or later.  Since we had arrived a half a day early, our only other alternative was to motor around outside the bay until the sun came up which, would be about 10 hours,… ‘No way!’  The waves have been tossing us around for the past 6 days on route from Esmeraldas, Ecuador and the smell of the land which was a lot different then the Esmeraldas smell, was becoming very appetizing.  We were going to secure the boat in the Bay, in the dark.

    The 3000 miles of experience that we have obtained so far is starting to show as we all took to our posts.  Kjell was at the helm, me on the front of the bow navigating, and Joar inside the cabin providing us with food, drinks, and smokes ;-).  Actually, Joar was on the radio informing the Port Authorities (en Espanol) that we were arriving, and trying to find out where we should put the boat.  They replied ‘OK, just come by the office tomorrow’ (in English.)  We wanted to make sure that we did everything right when we arrived in Galapagos.  We have heard and read that they are very strict about cruisers who visit the Islands and will only let boats stay for 3 days with the possibility of an extension to 10 if they like you.  We really wanted to stay the maximum, maybe more, to get well rested before we tackle the Pacific crossing and, becuase it is the Galapagos!!!

     Kjell’s maneuvering skills were great and we were fortunate that there were so many big tour boats all lit up in the bay to help with the navigation.  Once we found a spot and were securely anchored, we brought out the Tequila for and extra special ‘Nighttime Anchor Dram’ (a traditional Norwegian shot taken after we get anchored) and made sure we thanked Pachamama for the safe journey.

     OK, Expedition time.  Getting to land was our next priority and we couldn't be bothered with trying to wave down a water taxi (there are worse then city taxis) and before we knew it Joar had our dinghy pumped up and ready to go. Getting to land was easy but, walking on land was another story.  It felt like we just had 20 anchor drams and we couldn’t stop from tripping over to one side.  6 days of having the waves and wind keeping the boat at a strong angle had given us a crazy set of sea legs.  We tripped over our feet into trees, bushes, sign poles,...turtles.  Well, not really turtles but, if they were on the street I’m sure we would have tripped over them.  It was hilarious.  We were pretty exhausted that night and ended up retiring back to the boat early so, we could get a fresh start in the morning. And also, where the motion of the waves made us feel at ease again.

     The next morning I woke up and took a good deep breath of Galapagos life.  What a place!!  The wildlife is so tame.  There are seals swimming by the boat trying to get in our dinghy, Iguanas crossing our walking paths, Turtles crawling in the bushes, and Boobies in my face,…'Blue-footed' Boobies that is.  My Mom always told me that if I keep acting like a monkey I was going to wind up living in a zoo.  I can’t believe she was right.    I am now living in a Zoo!!

     We weren’t really sure what to expect when we went to the Capatinia to get our immigration and customs papers processed.  We practiced up on our complimentary spanish and put on our best attitudes and smiles to make sure we would get the maximum number of days stay.   Our plan worked great and we managed to get two weeks stay, even though we did have to resort to the sympathy angle when I showed him my leg infection (I knew it was going to be good for something.)

    There is a big history with Norwegians and Galapagos.  In 1932 a group of families from Norway came and settled on Ilsa Santa Cruz.  And since, the bond between Norwegians worldwide is quite strong, Kjell and Joar where looking forward to meeting with a third generation Norwegian here in Puerto Ayora.  There was no problem finding Torvaldo Kastdalen since, everybody in the 8000 person town knows who he is.  Kjell and Joar met with him at his Hotel and were quickly invited for a tour of the Kastdalen family homestead.  There, they got to see where the original families came to settle as well as the big modern Kastdalen farm of pigs, cows and of course wild turtles!

next: Adentures in Galapagos!

click to enlarge




                                        Immigration            * 


Our boat in the back



 *                                                                    *



  © Copyright 2004. Kjell Otto Stave. All Rights Reserved.