Wednesday March 6th
We arrived this morning at San Cristobel one of the Galapagos islands. We were escorted into wreck bay by sea lions and a brown booby, who flew out, circled the boat a couple of times and then flew back to the island, probably to report our impending arrival.
After dropping anchor among the other Oysters already in the bay, Bob called the agent we were using for our check in. He wasn’t available, but apparently his assistant was.
Our Oyster representatives had gone to extraordinary lengths to equip us with all the information required for check in, and thanks to their hard work and diligent efforts, we were confident that everything was in order and ready for the authorities.
The group of authorities sent out from the port to go through all our paperwork arrived shortly after we had dropped anchor. They all clambered aboard and settled in around our cockpit table where we served them sodas. Among the group was a diver, to check the condition of our hull, a very polite and efficient uniformed officer, a lady who checked our paperwork thoroughly and also performed the internal boat inspection, she even had the decency to remove her shoes before descending below deck, which we very much appreciated. There was a park agent who was very polite and efficient and then our agent’s assistant, whom I shall refer to in future as “Noddy” along with his side kick “Big ears” and someone else, not sure who, and was there to do heaven only knows what.
Having been instructed to bring three copies of everything, fumigation certificate, ships papers, passports, crew lists, black water letter etc, etc, etc… We were then told by Noddy that he wanted five copies of everything (which later turned out to be unnecessary).
In an attempt to be hospitable, I baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies for our guests; I learnt that it really doesn’t pay to piss off the people who have the authority to tell you to up anchor and move on. So I tried to play the “good cop” against Bob’s “bad cop”, and humor them… I’m not sure how much my hospitality helped things along, but at least they didn’t ask us to leave.
However, we are finally herein the Galapagos Islands, I’m excited and very happy to be here, and I intend to see as much of the islands as I possibly can…
More to follow.