The idea came up a long while back and was dismissed straight away. Surely it would seem churlish to go right by the Galapagos islands and not stop to have a look around. To miss these unique islands famed as an ecologists delight; the birthplace of Darwins' thoughts on evolution; may seem outright crazy to you but it's seeming like a more sensible plan as each day slips past.
We're still here, the other side of Panama in La Playita anchorage. We can't set out until the United States Postal Service gets a wriggle on. For some reason our bag of sail building hardware is dragging it's brass rings.
The whole dynamic was brought home to us as we evesdropped upon two boats talking on the radio net here. They were discussing (illegally) extending their stay in the Marquesas beyond the 3 months permitted for Americans. The rules are more relaxed for us so it emphasised the point that we are trading time in the Galapagos for time in French Polynesia. Add to this the fact that the Equadorian guardians of the Galapagos deem fit to charge visiting yachts through the nose for extremely restrictive permits. We just have to wonder...though money isn't necessarily perilously short we really hate spending it. As we have not arranged a special advance permit we may only stay at one anchorage and will have to join tourist excursions if we want to see other parts of our chosen island or other islands.
We think it's great that the islands are being properly protected from the ravages of tourism. Though many visit, the rules on seeing other than the tiny permitted areas are prohibitive for most. Hopefully this allows the ecosystem to remain preserved. This might just mean though, that to preserve it, we won't see it.
We'll probably push off with open minds; we won't have missed it until we sail right by. If we do decide not to go, we just have to remember; there are many more islands in the sea!