Very disappointing, when the noon sextant readings were taken, to discover we’d made virtually no progress at all towards the Galapagos. A strong NW current had swept us west, so that we were now due north of the islands, + no closer. Ho hum. I had put a new lure on the end of the fishing line yesterday, + today we had a bite! Not a fish, however. A gull had spotted the silver flying thro’ the water, dived on it, + got the hook embedded in his bill. We reeled him in, splashing + fighting, w2ith all his mates making a great commotion above him, + fortunately Jack was able to extricate the offending hook without too much injury (to him or his patient.) For half a minute or so, the bird just sat there on the end of the dinghy, recomposing himself after the indignity he’d suffered, + then off he flapped, first down into the sea, + then up to the sky.
Both meals were definite improvements upon recent fare – soup + crackers, followed by pears, at lunchtime, + macaroni cheese, oranges, + a delicious chocolate pie for dinner. Val + I played backgammon in the evening – the little pocket set Val bought me is a good one, its one disadvantage being that its magnetic, + consequently can’t be used in the cockpit for fear of disturbing the compass. The running sore (or score) at the moment is 21-8 to me. The real bad news of the day came at about 6, when Jack discovered he didn’t have enough battery power to start the engine. So he turned on the generator to charge the batteries, only to discover shortly thereafter that the problem was not that simple, + that something was horribly wrong with the charging system. It just seems to be our luck, unable to find a boat that won’t go wrong. (I’m thinking of changing Val’s last name to Jonah.) Maybe it’s the same on all boats tho’ – the ones that cost less than half a million, anyway.
As you can see,life on board for a long ocean crossing is pretty boring – little to see, little to do. Our biggest concern at the time was how long it was taking us to get there. The trip from Panama to the Galapagos was supposed to take about nine days, and we were comfortably exceeding that. And the fact that ecery day was another ten dollars was of concern.
Apologies for the repeated photo, but I have pretty much run out. There are one or two more to include, but they refer to specific incidents, so are being saved.