Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos & Return \”Home\”…..

Dear F&F,
May 23-24, 2009

We had the opportunity to do 2 dives this morning at Gordon\’s Rock off the east side of Santa Cruz Island. Most of us went on the 1st dive. And NONE of us elected to do it again. Why? Because there was no visibility, nothing to see & arduous conditions. It was very strong current & surge, so hand over hand combat crawl along the rocky reef. Scott & I are so different in our athletic abilities. He can kick with his barn door fins against the 2 knot current while I am struggling, gripping, grasping, gasping, sucking down my air. Scott keeps looking over his shoulder wondering what the heck is taking me so long. I am finally able to signal him that it is time to ascend because I am low on air. He looks surprised since he has plenty. He who gasps ups mountains whilst I skip up them! In the water with strenuous conditions we are the opposite. C\’est la vie. I am finished. I am finished diving like a Navy Seal cadet. I am finished with the group travel. I am finished with twin beds. I am finished even of eating their food. Sigh. We came, we saw, we dove, we are disappointed.
The entire trip should have been at Wolf & Darwin dive sites. The rest was \”filler\”. Not worth the price of admission. The one opportunity we had to see the whale shark was spectacular, but when we learned that in August & September you can see 8-10 whale sharks on many dives it was hard to be content.

\”Sky Dancer\” motored and anchored in the main port of Santa Cruz. This is the place exactly 2 weeks ago tonight that Scott & I pulled in at 9:00 pm, searching for refuge & sleep after 2 1/2 days at sea & found no protection from the open sea & waves. A crowded, ugly anchorage.

We took their dinghy to shore before the scheduled group tour of the Charles Darwin Center. I did a flurry of shopping at the grocery store & returned to the boat with four large boxes of provisions for \”Beach House\”. Not the kind of souvenir shopping the rest of the crowd would be doing. I must have enough food for the 3 of us for at least a month. I had heard the grocery shopping was better here than at San Cristobal so wanted to take advantage.

We didn\’t see much new or different at the Charles Darwin Center from what we\’d already seen at the tortoise reserve on San Cristobal. Scott took some photos of the other divers posing with the giant tortoises. The town was ok, the usual tourist shops & some overpriced art shops. We got a pizza & still ate dinner later on \”Sky Dancer\”. We were eager to wake up at San Cristobal & move home.

Scott got a ride from the panga with all our dive gear & had to face the results of a week of sea lions onboard. It took him a while to hose off all the sealion poop. I meanwhile packed our clothes & got help transferring my four boxes of food to the panga & also got a ride over. In my haste I forgot Scott\’s sunglasses & part of his underwater camera equipment, but we were able to retrieve those later.

Happily the solar panels and 1 hour per day auto run of the generator kept up our batteries so the fridge & freezer stayed cold. It was a bit stuffy from being closed up for a week, but so nice to be home. We quickly switched gears. Mike arrives in 4 days and we plan to set sail soon after. Lots to do to get ready for the long offshore passage.

Scott & Cindy