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Old 28-06-2007, 08:46   #1
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Galápagos Islands news

Ecuador has successfully petitioned the United Nations to have the Galápagos Islands declared an endangered World Heritage Site. UNESCO's decision will have international ramifications, such as requiring UN nations to enforce preservation restrictions.

This is primarily prompted by Ecuador's inability to enforce strict fishing, immigration, and tourism limitations. Tourism on the islands has exploded, bringing in thousands of support and construction workers from the mainland who, in turn, are bringing invasive and foreign species. The island waters, at a turbulent confluence of deep ocean currents which make a nutrient-rich environment, are targeted by international commercial fishing vessels whose depredations have seriously impacted the stocks.

Ecuador announced new policies in April regarding the classification of the Galápagos as endangered. I haven't been able to track these down online.
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Old 29-06-2007, 03:46   #2
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Goto:
United Nations Environment Programme - World Conservation Monitoring Centre
GALÁPAGOS: UNEP-WCMC Protected Areas Programme - Galapagos

And:
UNESCO World Heritage in Danger List: UNESCO World Heritage Centre - World Heritage in Danger List
Specifically:
Galápagos Islands: Galápagos Islands - UNESCO World Heritage Centre
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Old 29-06-2007, 11:17   #3
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The Galapagos have long been on my list of "DREAM" places I have always wanted to go (on MY sailboat). Sure hope I can see them one day... I bet a bunch of you guys feel the same.

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Old 29-06-2007, 12:18   #4
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<nod>

It's always been a dream of mine.

Throughout the 90s, though, I'd hear sailors who went saying they couldn't be bothered to get a permit from Ecuador, so they just sailed there directly and claimed they had problems with their boat, using the distressed mariner rule to drop anchor for days and weeks. Then sail away with stashed artifacts and unpaid fees. I figured by the time I had a boat and cruising kitty ready that Ecuador would be completely pissed at sailboats.

I don't know if sailors are still pulling this sort of despicable maneuver, but I wouldn't be surprised if some still were.


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Old 30-06-2007, 07:22   #5
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Amgine,

Get a grip on reality!

In 1992, we tried to get a cruising permit from Ecuador, and many months and $100's wasted later we went with the flow and pulled into the Galapagos without one. The conversation with the harbormaster went like this:

"What is your emergency?"

"Pardon?"

"What emergency are you declaring in order to stay here??"

"We're out of diesel."

"OK, you can stay as long as you want if you pay me (no receipt) $30/day, and you must buy your diesel from me at $2/gal, and not from the gas station in town at $0.25/gal"

The locals said that the standard retirement package for the Ecuadorian admirals was a year as harbormaster in the Galapagos, keeping whatever you could squeeze out of visiting boats and ships. No one was taking any artifacts (there aren't any), but some boats tried to avoid the 'fees', and some despicable yachties snuck in and bought diesel from the gas station.

We returned in 1997, and things were a bit better--you no longer had to declare an emergency, but you were still at the harbormaster's mercy.
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Old 30-06-2007, 08:27   #6
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We spent ten days in the Galapagos and had a wonderful visit. My family actually took a week long tour of the islands on a trawler while I stayed on our catamaran at night and did day trips. The anchorage did not have good holding, and so I was on the boat every night while we were in the Galapagos. At the time we were there, we could only anchor at one island, but we still got to see and do a lot taking tours. The tours were closely regulated and at that time, the wildlife ignored our presence. The guides would not let you step an inch off the trail or disturb the animals in any manner.

The Galapagos were probably our most unique stop on our circumnavigation, and was the most unforgettable.

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Old 30-06-2007, 14:20   #7
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Entitled?

donradcliffe: You've made a very compelling argument as to why your actions were, in my opinion, despicable.

You attempted to follow the rules and processes whose purposes are to slow the number of people who arrive at the
Galápagos. When this bureacracy did not meet your schedule and budget, you ignored them. You perjured yourself. You engaged in bribery, knowing that it was illegal and that doing so would reinforce the corruption which was entrenched.

And you came back a second time, presumably using the same methodology.

And what was your purpose in visiting the
Galápagos? presumably eco tourism. Nice.

You are, presumably, aware that the
Galápagos was the first World Heritage Site? and that this year Ecuador made major promises to improve security to avoid being the first site delisted, due to its inability to protect the islands which, in turn, is due to extensive corruption. Corruption includes both sides of the equation - those who take the money, and those who give it.
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Old 03-07-2007, 06:46   #8
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Amgine,

As much as you would like to make the rules from your sheltered niche in Vancouver, you don't. When you are in another country you have to follow their rules, which we did.

How did I perjure myself by saying we were out of diesel?? We were, and its 3000 miles to the next fueling station.

The second time we visited, the rules had changed to allow brief stays in the two major ports, recognizing the need for cruising boats to get fuel and provisions.

I'm sure that if you visited the Galapagos, you went on a package tour, and didn't have to directly participate in any corrupt practices...
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Old 03-07-2007, 07:27   #9
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donradcliffe:
You ran out of diesel, on a 700-800 sail, from Ecuador to the Galapagos.
Sounds like very poor planning or fabrication, to me.
Having “gone with the flow and pulled into the Galapagos without one” (cruising permit), the latter seems most plausible.
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Old 03-07-2007, 09:06   #10
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I spent two weeks on one of those expedition style cruise ships in the Galapagos (a couple of years ago). I think it was called Linblad explorer. The islands are very interesting and unforgetable. I'm not sure if I would ever take my boat there.
The main town (I forget the name) has a pretty unprotected anchorage with a nice surge. There is no native culture as people never really lived there. There are so many restrictions as far as going on the islands, that if you don't hire a naturalist you are basically breaking the law.

They just didn't seem like an inviting place to cruise. But there are a lot of cool anchorages filled with wild sealife!
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Old 03-07-2007, 20:25   #11
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Gord,

I assume you must carry over 150 gallons of fuel, if working 1000 miles through the doldrums and adverse currents is well within your range. We had a few gallons left, unlike the boat which used its dinghy to push the last few miles. However, for safety's sake, we needed to fuel at the
Galapagos, as the next stop is either 2000 miles to Easter Island or 3000 miles to the Marquesas.

We came directly from Panama, but the one boat who did get a permit went to Ecuador and spent 2 weeks pestering the national parks office daily until they relented. Then they ran out of fuel and couldn't make the islands...
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Old 04-07-2007, 04:37   #12
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I think just because some people use a loop hole to gain access,dosn't exactly mean they went there with the intention of trashing the place.

Corrupt officials are everywhere.Governments that cry wolf are usualy feeding the wolf in the first place.Ecuador is probably worried more about losing international funding for the Islands then they are for preserving it's natural and pristine enviroment.Proof to this is the tourism industry there in the first place.

I don't know if this is the correct wording,but,"Let he who is free of sin cast the first stone."Wether by bad planing,or,by loop hole,these place's will not remain pristine."Mudnut.
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Old 05-07-2007, 09:28   #13
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Admiralty: Ocean Passages for the World

Passage out of Panama Bay

Bound in any direction from Panama, the chief difficulty is the passage out of Panama Bay, for light and baffling winds or calms are met with there at all seasons.

Between October and April, the prevailing wind in the gulf is from the northward; for the remainder of the year the wind hangs more to the westward, and land and sea breezes are felt, varied by calms and occasional sqalls from the south-westward. Northward of 5&#176; N., between 80&#176; and 110&#176; W., is a region of calms and light winds, varied by sqalls of wind an rain; but southward of 5&#176; N., westward of 80&#176; W., between the mainland and Archipelago de Colon (Islas Galap&#225;gos), the wind is between south and west all the year round, and except between the months of February and June, is fairly strong. Whether bound north or south from Panama push to the southward and gain the South-East Trade; by so doing the doldrums and vexatious winds will not only be avoided but there will be additional advatage of salubrious weather, with the sea at a temperature of 24C (75&#176; F) instead of 28C (83&#176; F).

(Panama to ports in Central America via SailWiki)

Emphasis mine. I must apologize DonRadcliffe; it appears you may not have perjured yourself. All other points stand, with the addition of Gord's observation.
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