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Saturday, May 09, 2009

Delay of Game

It occurred to John that perhaps we ought to verify the earliest entry date of our autografo with our Galapagos agent before we actually departed from Panama. The autografo is the permit which allows our boat to visit one designated port on each of three islands for a total stay of 30-40 days. Without this permit a boat is allowed up to 20 days in only one of the two major ports. When we applied for our permit we gave June 1 as our targeted arrival date, and now with antsy feet we'd like to get there earlier. But we discovered that the autografo paperwork only gives us a week of leeway and we can't arrive earlier than May 25. So here we sit for another week, and of course today there's a nice northerly sailing breeze passing us by. That's what happens when you break one of the Cruiser's Commandments: Never sail to a schedule.

In the meantime we try to keep busy with boat chores, reading, naps, and eating our copious supply of fruit. Yesterday I found two live weevils in the pantry storage area. We thought we'd found the source in a container of rice from Ecuador a few weeks ago. To solve that problem John soaked a cotton ball in alcohol and threw it in overnight to kill them. Then I spent the next morning picking out the dead and barely kicking ones. But here they were again and running around loose this time. So out came the entire contents of two lockers, mostly canned goods, jars, vacuum packed bags of rice, boxes of pasta stored in new ziploc bags, and - ah ha! - dried peas from Columbia stored in an old ziploc bag with tiny holes in it. The weevils had done a thorough job of perforating the peas so the entire contents of the bag went overboard and we'll never know what Columbian dried peas taste like.

In addition to cleaning out lockers, John's put three coats of varnish on the wheel (the only piece of varnished teak on the exterior of the boat), and it has a lovely golden glow. He's also cleaned and lubricated the Cape Horn wind vane, a self-steering device that we hope to rely on during the sailing portions of our passages. I do the daily sweeping and cleaning of the litter box, and yesterday we bought 10 gallons of non-potable water from the local workers so we can do some laundry. We sort through our fruit almost daily and pick out the ripest pieces to eat before any of it can rot. Needless to say an entire pineapple, orange juice, and two mangos apiece almost every day is keeping us regular!

Linda and John