Saturday, May 12, afternoon
During lunch, the captain motored us westward around the northern coast of Floreana to the area of Post Office Bay. After lunch, we headed to Post Office Bay. Postcards with photos of the gorgeous Mary Anne were available in the library (left) for any who wanted to fill some out to deposit at the “post office” (below right). The human history of Post Office Bay and the early settlers is the least interesting part of the archipelago, in my opinion. (We had also visited Post Office Bay on our first trip. You can read more about the history here.) But Carolina clearly was a gifted and animated storyteller (below), entertaining us with tales of the Baroness and her various entourage (and their odd disappearances) as well as the Wittmer family (the family that operates the Tip Top fleet, which we traveled on in 2009). Our group also sorted through the many postcards left in the box, to see if any were addressed to areas near their homes, and deposited their own postcards for later delivery.
Carolina summoned the pangas on her 2-way radio as we headed back to the beach. Once we were back on the boat, Carolina announced that the captain was going to unfurl the sails,since we had a favorable wind. Jan had taken photos of the diagram of the Mary Anne (left) and all the names of her sails (right)—16 in all! Just a bit overwhelming for us non-sailors… We took photos of the majestic sails (below); the sound of the sails moving in the wind was lovely. But I did wish that we could be out on the pangas, so we could get the full view of the majesty of the Mary Anne under sail.
That evening, we met in the library for a “welcome aboard” cocktail, with all of the crew except for Juan, the first mate (who was up on the bridge, minding the “store”). Carolina introduced the large crew (12 in all!) and gave us their positions: Sailors Jorge, Angel, Darwin, and Mario; Barmen/servers Jairo and Kelon (I might have heard his name wrong—not a typical first name!); Engineers Jorge and Christian; Chefs Andrian and Carlos. Captain Eduardo is in the middle (below)—the fellow with glasses. This was just about as gussied up as we saw the crew, in their “dress white” polo shirts and shorts.
We also had a thorough safety drill before dinner. We were instructed to bring our heavy-duty life vests (different from the personal flotation devices we grabbed each time we headed out on the pangas) from our cabins and gather at the muster point at the back of the ship when the alarm sounded. Not gonna sleep through THAT alarm—that’s for sure! Carolina demonstrated the various safety features of the life vest (I especially liked the light that began to blink when hit by water) and all of the other safety gear that the crew would have access to on board and in the life boats, especially for handling the dark. I also thought it was interesting that she said to grab warm clothes, in case we were in the life boats. I wouldn’t have thought of that, since my mind would immediately leap to bobbing in the water Titanic-style. Good suggestion! We never had to use that information; but with all of the cruise mishaps that had been in the news lately (none in the Galápagos, though), I felt reassured to have had the full briefing.
We had reached Puerto Ayora by dinner’s end. It was Mother’s Day and Carolina was going to take advantage of our anchorage to spend the evening with her mother. As she left, she let us know whom to contact if we had a problem. Lucky for us, several in our group spoke bearable Spanish (and I had a Spanish-English dictionary on my Kindle!) and Carolina pointed out the crew members that spoke English (included the Captain). We knew we’d be just fine and we all wished her a lovely evening.
Tomorrow’s adventure—Puerto Ayora. Click here to visit with us!