My gorgeous Rosie bounced into Caraquez jet-lagged to buggery but raring to go. She hasn’t been on board since the Volga River trip but was immediately at home on board, organising things and cooking to die for. Our new battens had arrived from Stewart Yates in Puerto Lucia and we fitted them while waiting for our clearance papers.
Clearance papers? Forget them – we have encountered problems. Christmas, a weekend and an administrative glitch out at the Galapagos have all compounded and caused a lengthy but quite unavoidable delay. This delay unfolded slowly over nearly a week while I tried vainly to circumvent the problems, so that we didn’t really have enough time to go off and do something adventurous.
If you’re bored, or thinking of departing Caraquez for the Galapagos, the admin issue is as follows: Puerto Amistad here in Caraquez cannot issue our clearance zarpe without having a copy of the Galapagos approval autographa. The latter, expected on 20 December, won’t be ready until the 28th or 29th. Apparently our Galapagos agent sent the application to the old address of whomever in Quito where the autographa has to be signed off and sent back to him. Our agent then finalises it and sends a copy to Caraquez to be processed.
This is so unfair to poor Rosie. She’s been looking forward to this for a year and so excited about it. Now she’s got a week here in Caraquez, a 5 day ocean passage and just 3 days in the Galapagos. I feel so sorry for her. But she’s cheerful at least, and it is just wonderful to have her back aboard. If only we had more time.
Now, cockpit chatter and coffee in the cool of the morning. Today we scrub the weed off the bottom of the dinghy. The river is the most fertile breeding ground for bottom growth I have ever seen.
I suspect we won’t get away until early morning on the 29th. After that lengthy holdup in Balboa, this is the icing on Tainui’s cake. What a pain in the arse.