April 23, 2013
It was on a Tuesday morning near 0900 hours when we hauled the anchor from Isabela Island in the Galapagos. Anxiety and excitement turned in our stomachs. We would be sailing into the biggest unknown of our lives.
There was a good wind that had arrived to help us bid farewell to the Galapagos. Half the fleet in the anchorage had left a few days before. Some had left the day before. We had planned to depart the previous day, but Colin had come down with a fever. Was it just a normal fever associated with a general cold virus? Or was it some tropical disease that he’d picked up along the way? We couldn’t head out into the middle of the Pacific Ocean not knowing the answer.
Fortunately, his fever broke the next day and Colin only had normal cold symptoms. We would at least begin our passage, and we could turn back at any time during the first few days.
As we pulled away from the anchorage, our hearts were warmed by the horn blowing and waving arms we received by many in the anchorage. Our friends were cheering us on. Some we would see on the other side. Some we were bidding farewell to, for we were heading in different directions. Amidst the excitement, there was some sadness.
The anchorage slowly disappeared behind us, and it was time to look forward. We motor sailed for about an hour until we were away from the land affected wind. Soon we had a good 12-15 knots of SE wind on the beam, and we were cruising along at 8 knots. We were off to a great start.
About a dozen tiny Galapagos storm petrels fed in our wake. They almost appeared to walk on the water’s surface when they came down to feed in the disturbed water. Dolphins also appeared to escort us as we sailed into the big wide ocean.
I felt nervous again, as our first nightfall approached. What would the wind do? Would we get caught in a sudden squall? During my first night watch, the wind increased to 15-20 knots, so I woke Wil to assist with sail changes. Leaving ourselves with a full main, we rolled in the genaker and put out a partially furled jib.
I felt like I needed to be pinched. Were we really going to sail across the Pacific Ocean?
Stay tuned for what our daily lives were like during our 21 ½ days at sea, as well as what sorts of mishaps happened along the way!