Loading Map

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Day 5, Plata to Galapgos

You know you're getting close to land when you start seeing other boats again. Last night we had a bit of a close encounter with a fishing boat. After midnight I saw what I hoped was only a star setting on the western horizon. Unfortunately it continued to get brighter and bigger so I hopped below to turn on the radar. When the target showed up within eight miles of us, and I couldn't tell for sure which way it was headed, I got John up to take a look. After we changed course a couple of times to try to avoid it with no improvement, we turned on all the deck lights and John sent off a DSC All Ships call on the VHF, followed by a hail to the fishing boat in Spanish. That got an immediate response and the fishing boat agreed to change course to avoid us. We think the crew must have been asleep after they didn't respond to John's initial VHF call in English, and didn't appear to see us until we were so close we could see their fishing net on deck. We're guessing that the DSC alarm must have gotten the captain out of bed!

And at dawn this morning I barely caught something like, "Capitania passe port to port" on the VHF which alerted me to the presence of a large motor boat (like one of the 16 passenger tour boats) passing about five miles off our port bow. I wonder if he'd heard the alarm earlier in the night and decided to be pro-active with us!

Other than that bit of excitement we've had another 24 hours of slow sailing to cover 95 nm towards our destination, with about another 56 to the anchorage. We don't know what our rate of drift will be when we heave to to wait for sunrise, but we should arrive sometime Monday morning.

Here's Ziggy's underway watch schedule:

0500-0600 Get out of bed to pester Linda for breakfast by twining around and head-butting her legs, eventually meowing if clear signals continue to be ignored.

0600-0900/1000 Eat, get unharnessed (Yay!), take care of business if any, get personal drink of water from bowl held by Linda/John, patrol the decks if calm enough, sit in grass, chase toys thrown by Linda/John; occasional rest periods in between AM activities.

1000-1600 Sleep; may break for lunch if anything interesting is being prepared.

1600-1700 Get up to pester Linda for dinner; same routine as breakfast but significantly more urgent with many "love" bites to get message across.

1700-1900 Take care of business followed by extreme kitty crazies; release pent up energy by chasing phantom toys and anything that anyone will throw.

1900 Harnessed! Why don't you just throw me in a straight-jacket?! Have to take mincing little hobbled steps to move around and refuse to play any games. Rest of the night is spent either in bed pretending to be asleep (but really listening for flying fish to hit the deck), or in cockpit in John's lap, or sometimes up under dodger in grass or on my towel (depending on which tack we're on).

Can't wait to get to the Galapagos!

Linda and John