Galapagos Crossing – Day 3

Another day on the Pacific and we understand where the name came from. Almost no wind and calm seas, causing us to turn on the dreaded engines so we can reach the Galapagos before they sink back into the sea.

We had about seven hours of sailing today with our rainbow spinnaker flying proudly, trimmed diligently by Swagata (photo) and the rest of the team.

We saw a school of fish swimming in the clear water next to the boat and Joe tried to convince them to jump onto the hook but no luck.

Yesterday we scooped up some of the reddish/brownish water that appeared in giant swaths as we left the coastal waters of Panama. Cobin put it under our microscope and found lots of small, active organisms flitting about. Red tide? We aren’t sure but he sure had a good time watching them.

We covered the creation of volcanic islands like the Galapagos by making the Nazca Plate (tectonic plate that contains the Galapagos) out of chocolate cake. We used frosting to shoot up through and form lava “islands.” It was delicious! The children have promised not to chew on the real islands.

Ruth continues to push the racing side of things by discouraging fishing (This is not the World Anglers’ Rally, she fumes, at the evening roll call/fish catching announcement time) or anything else that might slow us down.

She did attempt rotten-fruit baseball that morphed into rotten-fruit tennis when the limes proved too small for anyone but Joe to hit. She probably calculated that all her wild swinging was actually creating more wind for the sails.

Swagata and Sunil made an excellent dinner tonight and have been part of Ruth’s ruthless (is that technically possible?) trimming school when they aren’t cleaning dishes, teaching kids to knit, or generally being friendly and helpful. Swagata asks the best questions to which we have no answers (how do seashells form, where do the bioluminescent creatures come from, are the Galapagos still forming) but, so far, she seems satisfied with all the answers we are making up or scrambled to find out before we lost the Google magic.

Tomorrow, maybe we will turn the tables and start asking her the questions!

Off to sleep in the damp sheets that seem to be part of this weather system – last night the mainsail was so wet from the humidity that it was dripping on me during my watch.

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