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Old 19-08-2009, 15:08   #1
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Question Crusing the Galapagos

Would like to set sail for the Galapagos sometime next year from southern California.

So far, all I can find on the net is commercial enterprises selling cruises. Can't even find a website for the Ecuadoran government.

Anyone have any suggestions and recommendations?
Procedures, red tape, etc. Does one have to sail to Ecuador first for clearance or can one sail directly to the islands?

Would love to correspond with anyone who has done this previously.
Any and all help appreciated.

Claude Martin
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Old 19-08-2009, 15:24   #2
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I was there last season. You can sail directly. I will pm you my phone number and would be happy to fill you in all the details.
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Old 19-08-2009, 15:53   #3
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Also consider joining or at least reading through the archive of the the Yahoo Southbound group
southbound_group : The Southbound Group

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Old 23-08-2009, 08:48   #4
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There is also a group known as the "Pacific Puddle Jumpers" - Google that and you might find some significant help and information. Also by being in such organized groups they are sometimes able to get "waivers" on fees and bonds which would mean significant money saved.
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Old 23-08-2009, 08:52   #5
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Old 23-08-2009, 15:19   #6
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Negative - you cannot sail directly - Equadorians change their procedures at their will. Some cruisers have plenty of luck while other have less favorable tales.

Use the most recent knowledge but also try to cross-check with Equadorian sources to avoid any nasty surprises. The noonsite is next to useless - but you may find some good info in the 'forums' part of their site, esp. related to procedures, piracy, etc..

Ahrgh - and do not forget from California the weather window is open only when the hurricanes are not blowing on the N side of the Equator. But I believe this you know.

Weatherwise, you will find all info in the Ocean Passages of the World (you can also try Jimmy Cornell's poor imitation of the above source).

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Old 23-08-2009, 17:45   #7
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Originally Posted by Cowpoke View Post
Anyone have any suggestions and recommendations?
Procedures, red tape, etc. Does one have to sail to Ecuador first for clearance or can one sail directly to the islands?
Hi Claude,

Yes, sail in directly to Galapagos.
We were there in June/July last year and had a sensational time!!!!!!
San Christobal is a good island, Wreck Bay correctly known as Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is the place.
Water Taxis there take you to shore.
The Navy fellow will come to your boat.
Do NOT use an agent if you can avoid it.

Get fuel by going in a taxi to the fuel station... its about $1US per gallon. Via agent its $2 per gallon.

Do NOT pre buy tourist cruises from home. Wait till you get to San Christobal. There is a whole street selling the cruises and you will get a much better deal.

Take COLOR photo copies of your passports. The 'only' color photo copier on the island is owned by the agents brother who charges you $6 per copy and somehow can't fit 2 passports on one page!!!!!!! LOLOL

Ensure you snorkle with the sea lions. One of the worlds great experiences! They take you to a beach where young sea lions play with you. Tis truly wonderful!

The 20 (30?) day visa is long enough. If you can do a 5 or 7 day tour it will be money well spent and will take you to islands you can't normally go to.



Here is "Galapi" our own baby Sea Lion. She never pooped on our boat!
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Old 01-09-2009, 13:41   #8
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Mark,
"She never pooped on our boat!" wow. First we tried fenders:
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That did not work, we had 3 sleeping in the cockpit on the cushions. Did not get a pic as it was midnight.
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Cute the first few days then poop,slime,smell,yeah.
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Then we resorted to the local way, well one of the local ways, we did not have to try the nails through the boards.
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Old 07-09-2009, 17:25   #9
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We coated the entire stern in slippery dish washing liquid and made a "wall" of fenders tied together across the stern steps at deck level. Kept them off for about 8 hours. Awakened 0300 with a large sea lion head entering our aft-opening hatch. Scared the living beejesus out of us! Knew we would never get that huge thing out of our boat if it slid down inside that hatch onto our bed. My husband drew back and punched it full-force straight in the jaw. Stopped it cold. After a few seconds it turned and slithered off the deck. We increased the width of the fender wall across the stern and also coated them with dish washing liquid. No more problems.

Yes to original question, but with all the normal caveats. Must check with Ecuadorian govt first because things change there very frequently these days. Whether you use an agent or not will depend on whatever the requirements are at the time you arrive. FWIW, we decided that the price of deisel delivered and pumped into our tank was worth the slight additional cost rather than schlumping jerry cans into town ourselves. That decision likely be based on just how much diesel you wish to purchase. The larger the quantity the more one is willing to pay the slight price difference rather than waste an entire day going back and forth with jerry cans.

We didn't stay the entire 20 days alloted us at that time. Ten days was enough for us. Interesting place.

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Old 07-09-2009, 18:29   #10
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Awakened 0300 with a large sea lion head entering our aft-opening hatch. Scared the living beejesus out of us! Knew we would never get that huge thing out of our boat if it slid down inside that hatch onto our bed. My husband drew back and punched it full-force straight in the jaw. Stopped it cold. After a few seconds it turned and slithered off the deck.
Now that had me laughing out loud! I can imagine it wasn't so funny at 3am though!
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