Departure

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A cloudless and windless dawn, our last in the Galapagos. This morning’s nature checklist in Puerto Villamil lagoon is typical – young sealions cavorting around the boat, imperious reef sharks, fluttering storm petrels, frigate birds and pelicans. A clutch of penguins keeps respectable distance, while the blue feet of immobile boobies are highlighted by guano on the lava islets. It is quite incredible and I shall miss them all.

Sonja has settled in well and is handy about boats. She is a biologist and owns her own boat in Goteburg. She cooks and doesn’t need to be told things. Axel, who is coming at 8 am, will be a different story. He is a young dreamer who has never sailed, so this next month will be a steep learning curve. I hope it won’t be too boring for him.

My only worry is the meagre strength of the trade winds, thanks to the Christ Child. We will need to poke our way south for a couple of hundred miles before we pick up enough wind to set course west to the Marquesas.

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