I woke at 5:40am after sleeping in the cockpit (to ward off the persistent sea lions from our dinghy…) Running lights from a sailboat appeared in the distance. It was none other than “The Beagle”, a replica of Darwin’s ship!
The Beagle is a cruise tourist boat. Private sailboat visits to Floreanna are now quite rare, dropped off to just one every other month – mainly because the Galapagos National Park strong arms the agents (who do all the boat permitting). They discourage visits to this island because they lack regulatory officials here to keep an eye on things. But all sailboats with an ‘autografo’ permit are technically allowed to visit “on the way” to another inhabited island. Fortunately we became friends with Jorge from Capitania in Isabela, who gave us this info.
Today I’m celebrating my 36th birthday and feeling super lucky for all this! Last night we were taught how to make delicious Yucca cheese patties called “mochin” by Angel and his wife Cecilia, who have been on the island 25yrs. People here are genuine and friendly unlike anywhere we’ve been. I feel blessed to be spending this week in such good company!