Day 9 – Welcome Wagons

(Underway, 85 Nautical Miles)

No one, least of all me, is surprised how I woke up this morning. It was to Greg whispering softly in my ear … about fish.  This is my life.

This morning’s sealife serenade was a little different though. Greg was whispering down through our hatch, we were drifting around on the glassy equatorial Pacific Ocean, and I had just slept through an entire night “underway”. We both had.

Back to the subject of the excited whisper. During Greg’s morning ocean-watering he spotted a mahi mahi hanging out under Oceanna’s hulls. A normal open water fish phenomenon Greg has eagerly been anticipating, and one I was aware of from reading Steven Callahan epic book Adrift. To cut right to the chase, it wasn’t long before Greg was geared up in his dive getup, armed with one of Uncle Wayne’s blue water guns, and slipping in to water for a morning hunt.

The mahi mahi managed to evade Greg’s spear, but simply getting in the ocean was accomplishment enough. With the water reaching seemingly infinite depths and unknown horizons, the mental victory was all the success he needed for the day.

After the mahi mahi peaced out, we received Galapagos’ One-Man Welcome Wagon! Rather, One-Sea Lion Welcome Wagon. Roger and Sasha had radioed over that they had a visiting sea lion around their boat and before too long we saw a round little head spotting his way over to our bows. Little being the operative word, as he was anything but.

We spent sometime revelling in the ease and playfulness of his water movements, then Greg put his fins back on and went for a twirl with our new friend. Since we were still 60 miles from the Galapagos Islands we were surprised to see a sea lion out this far, and maybe for that same reason, this particular guy was a little pooped. For when Greg and him were done their play, they both took it upon themselves to come up on deck for a rest. The most interesting part came when Greg had to ask our guest to leave. It was a snarly, growly, territorial display and I won’t even describe the sea lion’s actions.

Fast forward to our final night of this passage and I had what can only be described as a pure “Land Ho!” experience – go ahead and accuse me of drinking a little too much of the offshore sailor kool-aid, I’m going to go ahead and say it anyways. As we motored ever closer to the islands, eventually weaving through them to our desired anchorage, I was struck with the unmistakable smell of dirt. Never before have I been so blown away by the simple smell of earth.

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The Welcome Wagon arrives.

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This guy didn’t even need to use the swim ladder.

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Looking at us like we he owned the place.

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No doubt a riveting conversation.

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Getting himself to a better location.

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And getting real comfortable.

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A pretty sad catch, but it’s a catch nonetheless!

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Sheesh, don’t use the engines for a little while and the starboard didn’t start tonight.

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Greg found a poor ground and had it up and running in no time.

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Land Ho!

 

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