About Us

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We work as ecotourism guides (as well as biologist and boat captain) often on the BC Coast, but also as far ranging as the Arctic and Antarctic. We have an insatiable curiousity for the planet; all its hidden gems and what makes them tick. That and our love of sailing is what inspired us to sail around the Pacific in Narama, our tough and pretty little sailboat.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Santa Cruz, Galapagos

White Tipped Reef Shark
 From Isabela we back tracked to the east about 40 miles so we could visit our third island.  We also needed to get to Puerto Ayora, the biggest town here in Galapago, for clearing out of the country and to stock up on fresh provisions before setting off for the Marquesas – a voyage of nearly 3000 miles which will likely take us a month.  Once again we had to motor the whole way here and we now find ourselves crossing our fingers and hoping for the SE trade winds to reach this far north.   Otherwise this next passage could be very slow indeed!
Since we’ve been here we had a day of diving on North Seymour, a small islet covered in seabirds.  We found ourselves equally amazed at some of the tiny creatures as well as the “charismatic megafauna:”  the little, bright blue nudibranchs (sea slugs) as well as the White-tipped Reef Sharks; the field of Galapagos Garden Eels as well as the Spotted Eagle Rays.
We’ve been getting up at the crack of dawn both to make the most of our last days here in Galapagos and to get to the early market for the fresh produce.  It’s a challenge for us to stow enough fruit and veg for a month at sea, every basket is filled and we have a huge bunch of green bananas living in the cockpit.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Isla Isabela, Galapagos

We had a very calm over night passage from San Cristobal and arrived in Puerto Villamil heralded by a stream of penguins. They swam around the boat as we sounded the anchorage and immediately had us giggling. I contend that penguins are the answer to world peace – simply put all the world leaders in the presence of cavorting penguins and no one could possibly think about war. Everyone needs time with penguins! We certainly never grew tired of them. Over the 10 days we stayed in Villamil everyday at some point a few would swim after fish under the boat and we could don mask and jump in to watch them! We tried hard to get a photo, but they are so fast under water that the results were limited.

We had lots to keep us busy and the time seemed to pass too quickly in this protected anchorage. We rented bikes and rode out to the “Wall of Tears” which is a huge monument built of lava rocks by convicts in the 40’s. We found that the wall itself wasn’t as interesting as the journey, with lots of viewpoints and wetlands to stop and explore and tortoises wandering slowly along the road. On another occasion we took a horseback excursion to the top of Sierra Negra Volcano, the second largest caldera in the world. We did lots of swimming and snorkeling to keep cool and enjoyed the wildlife on walks to the tortoise breeding centre and flamingo ponds.
On the rim of Volcan Sierra Negra Caldera
Although this is the most protected anchorage that our permit allows, there is a paucity of yachts. Perhaps it is the level of bureaucratic toil required that dissuades more visitors. We had many visits to port captains and spent time waiting for paperwork to materialize every time we wanted to leave, or when we arrived in a harbour, but felt that it was worth the time we had to see this amazing place at our own pace.
We enjoyed getting to know the crews of ‘Pipstrelle’ and ‘Pacific Bliss’ and Heidi even managed a natural history lesson for the kids!