Arrival to Mainland Ecuador!

2300Z 10JUN19, Day 6, Galápagos to La Libertad, Ecuador. Arrived in Puerto Lucia Marina on mainland Ecuador an hour and a half before sunset. We were placed on a mooring ball for the night and were officially checked in the next day and moved onto the piers in the marina. 

This passage was slow. We were mostly close hauled and fighting a head current which was tedious. But we were able to sail most of it and the seas were pretty calm. We have found a decent groove for passages and a passage of under a week seems a bit short now in a lot of ways. 

Current Position: 02 13S 080 55W
Progress over final 10.5 hours: 52nm, 4.8kts avg SOG, with 4.5 hours motor sailing to keep speeds up when wind was under 10kts. Last half day was nice sailing. Finally had a reach and got out of the current at the very end to see some more typical boat speeds. 

Passage statistics:
564 nautical miles
5 days, 10.5 hours
4.3 knots average speed over ground
13.5 hours of engine time
45 liters of fuel consumed (approx)
120 liters of water consumed (approx)
3 Dolphin sightings
3 Fish landed (2 returned to the sea)
1 Mini-kraken landed (returned to Mama Kraken)
1 Thing broken - a salt water foot pump is leaking worse now after an attempt to fix in the Galápagos 

Post was delayed for check in procedures, crew rest and internet catching up. 

Day 5, Passage to Mainland Ecuador

1200Z 10JUN19, Day 5, Galápagos to La Libertad, Ecuador. We have completed 5 days at sea and are hopeful that we can arrive in daylight hours today. Our progress was a bit better overall yesterday with winds that stayed up overnight. The slog to windward continues, along with the fight against the current. While we expected this to some extent, it still gets a bit old.

Current Position: 01 43S 081 37W
24 hour progress: 104nm, 4.3kts avg SOG, approximately 50nm to go. The weather was pleasant and sunny yesterday. We mostly sailed close hauled, with winds of around 15kts. Overnight we had 2 reefs in the main for awhile when winds were up around 20kts true.

The crew is doing fine. Books have been read, school work has been done, Minecraft has been played and movies have been watched over the course of the days. We tried our luck with fishing again yesterday, but caught nothing. The line is in again this morning at Daxton's insistence. He has ordered ceviche. We will sail, or turn the motor on and motor sail as needed today to ensure our progress and work for a daylight arrival. As always, we are looking forward to a full night's sleep after arrival.

Day 4, Passage to Mainland Ecuador

1200Z 09JUN19, Day 4, Galápagos to La Libertad, Ecuador. Our progress remains steady. We are finally making a good course over ground and even have had a chance to fall off just a little bit from time to time. The slog to windward continues, but perhaps a tiny glimmer of the end is coming into view.

Current Position: 01 03S 083 11W
24 hour progress: 99nm, 4.1kts avg SOG, approximately 155nm to go. The weather has been overcast again since yesterday late morning. The temperature is pleasant but the humidity is quite high inside the boat. We are sailing a close haul to a close reach, with a reef in the main, and with winds of around 15kts. We STILL continue to have a 2kts (maybe more) current against us.

The crew is doing well. We tried our luck with fishing again yesterday. We caught 2 small skip jack tunas over the course of the day. We threw each of them back as we weren't really in the mood - skip jack is not the tastiest tuna and requires a good marinade. Then, late in the day, we had our most bizarre catch to date. We caught a rather large 🦑 squid 🦑! While we fish with lures that look like small squid, get the occasional small squid on deck and know that giant squid exist, we have never heard of anyone catching a large squid on the ocean surface. He was something in between a giant squid and the largest squids that we have seen in fish markets or eaten in restaurants, with a body about 2 feet long not including the tentacles. He tightly grabbed our cedar plug lure and caught the hook into 2 of his tentacles. He was difficult to bring aboard and looked quite strange in the water. When bringing him aboard he shot water at us 3 times. We thought he would ink us in continued protest. He did try to devour the cedar plug as a last meal on deck. In the end Jon got his tentacles free (no help given by Megan's squeals or the kids continuous discussions about him) and we returned him to the sea. He was fascinating to watch as you could see him flashing color through his body and his tentacles were impressive as he grabbed and slimed Jon a good deal. Kindly, we were not inked. The little monster would have likely been really tasty as enormous calamari steaks; however we didn't want to have to kill him, clean him and properly prepare him; nor could we possibly have eaten that much calamari. In the end it seemed best to put this mini kraken back in the sea in order to avoid any wrath that may have come from The Mama Kraken!!!

We are looking forward to our arrival which we are still hoping will be sometime on Monday. It really depends on whether or not the winds stay up and how badly the current continues to set us back. Sometimes a day light Monday arrival looks possible and other times not so much.

Day 3, Passage to Mainland Ecuador

1200Z 08JUN19, Day 3, Galápagos to La Libertad, Ecuador. Our progress remains steady. Yesterday during the day the winds were up again, and we had 2 reefs in the main for awhile. The course went a bit north of desired again as well. So the slog to windward and not quite along the rhumb line continues.

Current Position: 00 40S 084 44W
24 hour progress: 109nm, 4.5kts avg SOG, motor sailed for about 1.5 hours overnight, approximately 250nm to go on the great circle route. The weather was sunny and pleasant yesterday and we had a beautiful sunrise this morning. We are sailing close hauled, with a reef in the main again, and with winds of about 15kts +/- 5kts and calm seas. We continue to have a 1-2 kts current on our nose. So we feel like we are doing 6.5kts but only seeing 4.5kts progress over ground.

The crew is doing well. The wind seems to calm over the nights and build back up during the day. This means that the seas also build over the course of the day making dinner the most challenging time to do anything in the kitchen. Yesterday brought 2 pods of dolphins, one pod in the early morning and the other in the late afternoon. They seemed to be feeding and did not play directly around the boat. Even so, they were fun to watch for the short while they were near us, and put on some entertaining acrobatic displays. The water has turned decidedly green in color again.

We are looking forward to our arrival which we are thinking will be on Monday. We are hoping that the winds will allow us a more direct course today, as they have been for the early hours of the morning.

Day 2, Passage to Mainland Ecuador

1200Z 07JUN19, Day 2, Galápagos to La Libertad, Ecuador. Our progress remains steady. Yesterday during the day the winds were up, we had a reef in the main and the course was a bit north of desired. We were off our direct route for about 24 hours, but the winds have swung to a more favorable direction again overnight and we are back to a better course.

Current Position: 00 50S 086 30W
24 hour progress: 106nm, 4.4kts avg SOG, approximately 345nm to go on the great circle route. The weather was overcast all day yesterday. We are sailing close hauled, with a reef in the main again this morning, and with winds of about 15kts +/- 5kts and calm seas. We continue to have a 1-2 kts current on our nose.

The crew is doing fine and has settled into our routines. We did not fish yesterday as we planned to eat shrimp risotto - Megan's first pressure cooker on the boat trial. It turned out pretty well and everyone seemed to enjoy it. We haven't had any sea life sightings other than a couple of birds that hang out around the boat. Athena was interested in their noises and watched them from the cockpit for awhile during the night shift. The bioluminescence has been amazing and beautiful at night.

Day 1, Passage to Mainland Ecuador

1200Z 06JUN19, Day 1, Galápagos to La Libertad, Ecuador. We departed from San Cristobal at 0600 local time on 05JUN19. We had checked out in the late afternoon the day before and enjoyed a last night's sleep at anchor before getting underway at first light.

This passage will only be about 550nm, which is not be a very long mileage passage compared to our recent passages. However, we don't expect it to be especially fast. The weather is calling for light winds and we know there will be some current against us. This suits us fine, as we can't check in over the weekend to La Libertad anyway.

We motor sailed away from the Galápagos with winds that were largely less than 5 kts. Around 7 hours after departure, we secured the motor and started sailing on a close reach in 10-15 kts of wind and calm seas. We have had a 1-2 kts current on our nose, but it is just slowing us down and we expected it. It is better than having it push us off course like it was doing to get to the Galápagos.

Current Position: 01 03S 088 11W
24 hour progress: 94nm, 3.9kts avg SOG with 7hrs motor sailing, approximately 445nm to go on the great circle route. The weather was nice yesterday morning and then became overcast, but it cleared a bit for a beautiful sunset over San Cristobal. We made a nice direct course until overnight when the wind shifted a bit more SSE. We are now close hauled, sailing about 20-30 degrees north of our desired course, with one reef in and 20kts of true wind.

The crew is well and we're settling into our routines. Before we turned off the engine, we enjoyed a visit from three playful dolphins who entertained themselves around our bow. In the late afternoon, we put the fishing line in, after leaving the Galápagos marine reserve. We immediately caught a small yellow fin tuna! It was a new record for our quickest catch - the line was not yet fully out or secured. We enjoyed a sushi dinner and are glad that our limited fresh food from the Galápagos got a boost from a fresh fish. The cats, however, still refuse to eat fresh fish for reasons unknown—perhaps they only like salmon. Last night, there were boobies flying about the boat, but no landings.