Waiting for the weather window

In order to sail to the Galapagos Islands we have to cross the ITCZ (intertropical convergence zone), an area with unstable weather conditions near the equator in between the faithful trade winds further north and south. We’re waiting for a period, when the northerly trades make it over the Panamanian Isthmus to help us getting south, where we then should find southerly winds. Whenever northerly winds set in a whole fleet of yachts sets out towards the Galapagos from Panama. We missed the last of these weather windows by a day (Pitufa’s wasn’t quite ready yet) and have now been waiting here for almost a week. On the weather forecast it looks as if a new window might open towards the end of next week. The last few days have been rainy and we stayed at home working and writing. Yesterday we hitched a ride on one of the shuttle boats that go back and forth between the fishing lodge in our bay and the village in the next (mostly used by indigenous workers of the lodge). It was nice to walk along the beach, chat with people and buy groceries without having to worry about getting the dinghy through the surf on the beach. On our last visit to the village we had noticed many people on the last end of the beach, far away from the village and wondered what they were all doing there. This time the riddle was solved, when we asked in the minimarket about mobile phone providers. There is a digicell connection, but it works best at the far end of the beach ;-) Today the sun came out again and we hiked on a path (well maintained by the lodge) through the jungle over the hill and to a beach on the other side. The rainforest is incredibly lush here and we glimpsed a cute little racoon-like bear in a tree.

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