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Sailing in the Galapagos with Rubicon 3

Posted in : Starling

Isabela was our second stop in the Galápagos Islands and it turned out to be an absolute gem. We had been warned that the anchorage was small and the approach difficult but we took the plunge and decided to head there anyway. We Starlings will do anything for an adventure! Patrice expertly navigated us in, realising that in some parts of the world navionics and paper charts do not correspond to the actual situation. Nevertheless, we found a spot and awaited the authorities, who come in groups of around 8-10 and represent a lengthy check-in process!

Once cleared in, the fun could begin. Starting with climbing over many a seal on the water taxi pontoon and watching the penguins dive in and out between the fishing boats. The seals, penguins and giant black iguanas all seem totally at ease with each other, coexisting on land and in the water quite happily. And they are equally unbothered by the humans milling around right next to them. Perhaps that is the result of the comprehensive protection of all species here in Galapagos – the animals feel safe and therefore it is much easier to get close to them. Who knows!

On day two in Isabela, Sophia, Wendy and Arabella went on a hike up Sierra Negra, a giant volcano caldera that is still active, and then on to the spectacular lava fields just beyond, where you can see tunnels created by lava flow and all sorts of whacky lava formations. Meanwhile, Tom and Suzy went kayaking to see the penguins and by all accounts had a fab time!

The next day saw the whole of Starling’s crew go on a trip to Los Tuneles together.  It started with a 45-minute boat trip to some awesome rock formations where lava flow created natural tunnels and bridges on the coast that are now home to tons of wildlife, including blue-footed boobies on land and turtles and white-tipped sharks in the lagoons between the rocks. It was a truly extraordinary sight and nothing like anything any of us had seen before.

Following a short exploration there, we took the plunge with our guide and went on a snorkel adventure. We came face-to-face with dozens of giant hawksbill turtles, nurse sharks and white-tipped sharks; and the highlight was definitely the two seahorses!! Notoriously difficult to find in the wild, we found one orange one and one purple one wrapped around the branch of a sunken tree. What a rare treat! They are such beautiful creatures…

Overall, visiting Isabela has been an absolute pleasure and a privilege. We were one of only a handful of yachts there and it is a largely unpopulated island. The landscape is unique and the sheer volume of wildlife is overwhelming. We’re looking forward to the next adventure of Santa Cruz before heading out on our 3000 mile passage across the Pacific!

Ciao for now…happy hour beckons;)