TIME: 2016/03/29 17:04
COMMENT: Beach House – En Route – Malpelo Island (Columbia) to Galapagos Isles (Ecuador) – Day 1 – 191 nautical miles. Total distance to Galapagos, approx. 875 nm.
We had some real \”breeze\” last night – 18-25 knots from directly behind us. Add the strong current running with us (up to 2.5 knots) out of the Gulf of Panama and despite being reefed and only using the staysail last night, we covered 191 nautical miles. A great first days run. We are currently, 120 miles NE of Malpelo Island which we expect to be at tomorrow in the morning. If the winds are light (as we expect), we may ask permission to stay a day or even two on their mooring buoy if it\’s available and come ashore. If the winds become favorable, we may pass.
This is a remote Columbian Navy outpost which primarily keeps claim to the island and poachers away. There was once a massacre of sharks here numbering over 2000 – just for their fins.
There are 1-2 commercially operated recreational dive boats that do come here for the \”big animal\” encounters. There is apparently nowhere to anchor as the cliffs are steep and deep. The island is only one mile long, quite barren looking from the photos and has some outlying rocks to the north. As such, if we stop, it will have to be on the Navy\’s mooring which is apparently, mostly available. Of course we will ask permission and it\’s requested that all vessels transiting within 20 nm of the island call them via VHF Radio.
For the Google Earth savvy amongst you, Malpelo Island is at: 03 degrees 59 minutes North x 081 degrees 36 minutes West.
It\’s a nice day out here, but like much of the Pacific side of Panama, it\’s very hazy. We are after all in the ITCZ! Despite this. Not a hint of rain so far and I should be reminded to be careful what I ask for! Much cooler out here than the coast.
Scott and Nikki