We arrived at Isla Isabela after a fast 6 day passage from Panama filled with great wind, wildlife, awesome sailing and, I'm sad to report, no fishing success (although the chocolate cake made up for it). Highlights included a sail-by of a family of 15 -20 sea lions lounging on the sea surface 200+ miles from land, several visitations from bottlenose dolphins to the bow wave of the boat, a green sea turtle greeting us upon entry to the Galapagos, and a Galapagos shark sighting around the fishing lure streamed off the stern of the boat (shortly before Martin had to get in the water and scrub off the bottom of the boat for inspection in the Galapagos- I kept a solid shark watch!)
We're now anchored with about 8 other boats in a lagoon that is a natural sea lion nursery. So we've had these juvenile sea lions playing, jumping and flapping all around Pau Hana, especially in the morning. They approach the boat, look up to make sure you're watching and then start doing some show-off acrobatics, it's just ridiculously cute. We've also had some Galapagos penguins swim by, and a few resident turtles have sauntered over to check us out.
We had to undergo quite a bureaucratic circus to be able to stay here. We had inspectors from the health department (to ensure we weren't transporting Ebola into the Galapagos!), quarantine officials, Coast Guard inspectors and Marine Park Service personnel all on the boat a couple days ago. They wanted to see our food, our bilge, holding tanks and the engine. Apparently we passed, and are now allowed to stay here for 20 days. We are not free to move the boat to a different anchorage so we'll have to explore from here on land or take a shuttle boat to the other islands. We feel lucky as a French boat next to us did not pass inspection (poor holding tanks) and they got kicked out after only 24 hours of rest.... Hopefully they have enough provisions to make it the 3000 miles to the Marquesas.