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20 April 03

Ocelot heads for the Galapagos #4

Dear friends and family,

Just after we sent the email last night the wind died, and we started to motor, thinking we'd have to motor all the way to the Galapagos.  Near the equator is an area of doldrums and we thought they'd caught us.  But about 10pm a delightful sailing breeze came up from the SE so we shut off the engine and sailed for 12 hours.  We're motoring now, but we sort of expected to for the last 150 miles or so.  All 3 boats in front of us had to motor even farther.

Mellow sailing, good books, warm sun over cold ocean
Mellow sailing, a good book, relaxing in the
warm sun over a relatively cold ocean

At 4pm CST we were at 0° 30' S, 87° 42' W, or about 100 miles from Wreck Bay, San Cristóbal, our initial landfall.  We should arrive about lunchtime Monday but we may not stay (or even officially check in) as the harbor-master there is reputed to be very sticky-fingered, charging boats much more than he should.  In a country where good jobs are scarce, a harbor-master position is a very good job to have, but some part of the culture here seems to be to use whatever "power" you have to better your situation - a bit of an alien concept to us Yanks.  But since he hasn't been canned, despite many people knowing (and complaining), presumably this is considered "acceptable" behavior.  Hopefully, the fact that we've already checked into Ecuador should keep the steep fees here to a minimum.

All our best -- Jon, Sue, Chris, and Amanda

s/v Ocelot, sailing into the sunset

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