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Monday, November 24, 2008

More Isla Gorgona

24 November 2008

Sunday morning at dawn we watched cargo being off loaded from a small double decker ferry into a panga and then onto the beach. It appeared to be mostly building supplies such as wood planks, metal struts/gutters/drain pipes, and plastic paint/stucco buckets. Later a panga arrived weighed down with fresh palm thatch. Then they loaded the old thatch, wood and other debris onto the panga for disposal. No doubt the park is restricted from cutting or burning their own thatch, though we've seen them trimming the palm leaves and coconuts (probably to prevent the latter from falling on the heads of their guests).

We noticed wireless routers at the resort and asked for permission to bring our laptops into the restaurant. All set for a day of internet we were disappointed to discover that most of what we needed was blocked. We couldn't access basic things like Yahoo discussion groups, Airmail, or even our own blogs. This was very frustrating and meant we got little work done other than gathering some weather info, podcasts, and world news.

Anticipating a midnight departure whenever we finally begin the next leg of our trip John decided we should go ahead and move to the second orange can buoy (at the GPS position of my previous post) so we can just slip a line rather than have to raise anchor in the dark. We successfully tied off to its pennant and hadn't been settled in for more than 30 minutes when a small Colombian naval/coast guard (they seem to use "armada" and "guarda costa" interchangeably so they're probably the same entity) ship arrived and launched its inflatable. The two young crewmen very politely explained that their ship needed to tie to our buoy for two nights but that we were welcome to raft-up to them or tie off to their stern. We told them that we would tie off their stern but while they were getting tied tothe buoy, we tried out the fendered mooring near Sarana. It is sufficiently secure, even though the waves were noticeably bigger, and decided to stay on it rather then figure out how to tie off the stern of the CG boat. The wind built over night and it got very bouncy because any wind out of the southern quadrant sends chop right through here. We're hoping for a more westerly shift tonight.

Once Nakia was settled in her third berth of the day John picked Eric up for a visit to the ship. They were invited aboard for a tour of the bridge, and were able to ask a number of questions pertaining to possible anchorages and safe coastal transit strategies (stay at least 20 miles off shore). The navy even had a spare copy of a detailed chart of Bahia Solano which they gave Eric.

There's something brewing in the Caribbean which is causing spillover winds to the north of us. So we made the decision this morning to hang here another night or two rather than chance a bumpy ride to Utria (another national park). That will be about a 36 hour passage and we'd prefer to wait for better conditions to make it a more comfortable sail.

In Ziggy news we are sorry to report that we made the decision to dispose of his beloved grass. It had gone dormant in the cooler climate of Ecuador (John insists it was simply dieing) and was getting browner and browner leaving very little green for Ziggy to munch on. He finally viewed it as something to destroy and delighted in digging out the dead grass, dirt clods, and gravel rocks, and tossing them all over the deck. This was something we just didn't have the energy to fight him on so we tossed the contents overboard. Now he sits in the empty Rubbermaid dish pan, his pink nose twitching over fleeting scent memories of dirt and grass...

Linda and John