Mid-morning, we entered Academy Bay on the island of Santa Cruz in the legendary Galapagos. Kentra is anchored near the mouth of the bay, rolling heavily in the pale green swells. Tourist boats are anchored on the left, and cruising boats fill the right side of the bay. Outlandish and Zig Zag are here. We anchor close to the head of the bay, near the shallows that extend almost a quarter of a mile from the black lava rock of the shore. There are steep, black cliffs of rock on both sides of the bay with scrub and cactus growing on the flat tops. The center of the bay is lined with trees and scrub with buildings that make up the town of Puerto Ayora peeping through. Frigate birds and pelicans ride the thermals above the cliffs and out over the anchorage.

            Once we got the bow anchor set, Bobby took out the dinghy with a stern anchor to keep us into the swell that comes directly into the bay. The rolling stopped and we were relatively motionless for the first time in a week. Bobby went to shore to complete entry procedures.

            Regulations change so often in Galapagos that we don’t know what to expect. Our guide tells us that cruisers are generally allowed only a three day stay, which may be extended up to ten days by the port captain if he feels we are of benefit to the local economy.

            Bobby went to the port captain’s office for customs clearance, the police department for immigration, and to the hospital to buy a fumigation certificate. The boat was neither fumigated nor inspected, Bobby simply paid the money and we were considered free of pests. It appears as if we can stay here as long as we like. However, we are not allowed to tour the Galapagos Islands in our boat.

            Bryan is feeling better and does not want to see a doctor. He thinks he will be fine with a little more rest. When Bobby returned, Bryan stayed on board and the rest of us went in to eat lunch. Beyond the tourist boats, the bay extends a finger inshore. We followed this finger past red Sally Lightfoot crabs on the slabs of rocks that are awash and saw our first marine iguana on the concrete dock.

            A friendly young man took our dinghy painter and held us as we climbed two giant concrete steps to shore. He is employed as a security guard for the dinghies and, after helping the occupants ashore, he ties the dinghy in a small corner of dock space designated for this purpose.

            From what we’ve read about the Galapagos, we expected to find a tiny town with few provisions. The large grocery store, corner markets, hardware and building supply shops, dive and souvenir shops, along with dozens of restaurants quickly dispelled this notion. Side streets packed with small houses run perpendicular to the main street which follows the harbour.

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         We ate lunch at the restaurant on the water where we left the dinghy. We received another surprise when the bill was presented. It costs so little to eat out that we can’t afford to cook. The most expensive meal available, lobster with shrimps in a cream sauce, is the equivilent of six US dollars. Basic lunches are two dollars per person. Most of the houses in town don’t even have kitchens because everyone eats out.

            After lunch, we took a walk to get oriented. There is no public laundry facility, but there is a woman who does laundry for the townspeople and cruisers. The grocery store has everything we could possibly need and corner stalls are filled with fresh produce. In a back street, behind a rollup metal door, is a one hour film developing machine. This is hardly the lonely outpost we’d anticipated.

            There are few cars on the cobblestone streets, but people are everywhere. Indians tend their shops and outdoor stalls while Ecuadorians fill the restaurants and streets. A volleyball court is situated on the bay and a game is almost always in progress. Often, the police are out playing. The chief wears his gun on his hip even as he is setting and spiking.

            Bryan’s health improved and we organized a day trip to the highlands. We took a walk through an underground lava tube and viewed two sunken craters. We were given an impromtu tour of a cheese factory. Then, we visited a farm where they had “wild” giant tortoises. We were served lemon grass tea on the farmhouse’s patio which looks over the peaceful highland countryside;  blanketed in knee high, golden-green grasses studded with clumps of trees. White herons flew from one clump of trees to the next. The grass for the tea is grown alongside the patio and, after seeing how much we enjoyed it, our guide gave us a huge fist-full to take home.

            Bryan babysat Kentra a couple of days later so they could all take the same trip together. Kentra is never left alone. Usually, two crew members are left on board at all times on watch. It’s quite an honor for Bryan that Jim, the captain, entrusted him with this classic yacht. Unhappily for Bryan, Kentra is still rolling heavily and Bryan spends his time aboard feeling ill. Now I think that perhaps Bryan was suffering from severe seasickness during our passage rather than an intestinal bug.

            Bryan felt better the next day so we organised a four day tour of the islands for the four of us while Bryan watches Immanuel.  We will board the Lobo De Mar on Wednesday night and return on Sunday.

            Wednesday night at 8:00 pm, as we were instructed, Bryan dropped us off at Lobo De Mar, or Wolf of the Sea, the Ecuadorian name for sea lions. The crew has all gone ashore to see their families in Puerto Ayora except for one deckhand and the cook. The other guests on board all flew into the Galapagos and have been on the boat for two days. There are three vacant staterooms, but the cook didn’t know we were coming and doesn’t know which rooms to give us. We are forced to wait in the lounge with our luggage until the captain comes back.

            Finally, at 11:00 pm, the captain returned and told us we could have our pick of the staterooms. Bobby and I took a room on the upper deck with a large window and a pleasant decor. The boys will share a lesser room in the bow of the bottom deck. Each room has its own shower and bathroom.

            The engines started so we went out on deck for a final glimpse of Immanuel as we exited the harbor. The boat will travel all night. I don’t know when the crew manages to sleep.

            We’re to wake with the sun, so I’m anxious to take a shower and settle in for the night. I’ve never seen anything like the shower head that adorns our shower. It’s as if a hand held shower had its handle removed and its head swelled to the size of a cantaloupe with a ring that turns around the edge with blue lines on one side and red on the other. There is only one faucet on the wall that turns on cold water. Being a veteran traveler, I figured out that the temperature control must be located by those blue and red lines. I twisted every which way and couldn’t get anything but cold water. I noticed what appeared to be a 220 volt light switch near the shower. It seemed an impractical location for a light switch, not to mention dangerous, until I decided it must have something to do with getting hot water. I reached up while standing in a puddle of cold water to give it as quick a flick upwards as possible. A noise like a tea kettle issued from the shower head and, lo and behold, I had hot water.

            I hastily poured shampoo in my hair and lathered up before the hot water could run out. I ducked under the luxurious flow and heard a hiss followed by a sizzle. I squinted up at the shower head through the shampoo dripping down my face and saw a flame. It followed a wire just like it was a fuse on a stick of dynamite in a wild west movie before disappearing into the ceiling. Oh, no, we’re on fire!

            I flicked the switch off while rinsing most of the soap off in cold, cold water as I yelled for Bobby. He went to get a crew member while I got dressed. The crew member looked at it and said not to worry, they’d fix it in the morning.

            Good thing we’re in a steel boat. I still had trouble falling asleep. I kept picturing the flame following the wire throughout the boat until it found something combustible. I laid my plans as to how we would get the boys and abandon the burning hulk.

            Eventually, I must have drifted off because, all at once, it was morning and a bell was ringing. I started awake thinking it was a fire bell, but it was only the cook’s helper summoning us to breakfast.

            We’re at the island of Floreana. The water is a deep sapphire blue lapping a red sand beach backed by scrub and a rocky hill. We clambered into the tender with the other dozen pasengers and went to shore.

            There were sea lions basking on the beach, some nursing their pups. Our guide, Cesar, led us on a trail up the hill, pointing out various trees and cacti on the way. I found the landscape rather uninteresting in and of itself, but I was so excited to simply be touring the Galapagos I was far from bored.

            We moved around to Post Office Bay for our second hike of the day. This is a famous bay among sailors for as far back as the first whalers in this area, sailors have been leaving mail in a barrel above the beach for other sailors to pick up and deliver on their return home. It has grown over the years and now sports carved boards bearing the names of cruising boats that have stopped here over the years. The post barrel is still in use, although mainly by tourists. We sorted through the postcards and the German passengers took the cards addressed to Germany to mail when they arrive home and the US and Canadian citizens did the same for their respective countrymen.

            We returned to the Lobo De Mar to eat lunch while the captain drove us to a pile of rocks off of Floreana that are arranged in such a way to have earned the name Devil’s Crown. The water is clear azure among the black, jagged rocks that point to the cerulean sky. As we were surveying the site, a great disturbance broke out upon the ocean, churning the water white in an area nearly twice as large as our boat. The roughly oval formation moved closer until we could see that it was made up of a large-scale school of tuna swimming sideways on the surface beating the water into froth.

            The crags of rock were covered in birds--split-tail gulls, masked boobies, and frigate birds. We saw a frigate bird pick up a nesting gull by its wing, trying to get at the eggs. The gull squealed in fright, but maintained her guard over her nest.

            Lobo’s tender took us to one side of the bowl-shaped area so we could snorkel through the rocks, drifting with the considerable current. After the extreme heat of the day, the water felt like ice but we forgot how cold we were as we took our first look around. Teeming with life is an understatement for this eco-rich patch of ocean. We saw turtles of all sizes, Moorish Idols, a whitetip reef shark, angel fish, giant snappers, bumpheads, tuna, myriad other tropical fish, and three sea lions darting among the group. The tender picked us up on the other side of the rocks and we rode back to the head of the bowl to do it all again.

            After going back to the boat for showers, with the happy surprise that ours actually was repaired, we went out on deck to see that we have motored to another section of the island where there are nesting frigate birds dotting a cliff which falls into the sea. The males build a nest which they perch on while ballooning out a brilliant red pouch on their throats. The females are attracted by the scarlet pouch and choose their mates.

            As we started our lengthy journey to tomorrow’s island, we saw two humpbacked whales. The captain let us watch them until they blended in with the horizon before we motored on.

            What a way to travel! No night watches, no navigation, no cooking, no dishes, no heeling, no worries. We can use all the water we want and we don’t even have to sleep with leeboards.

We just wake up in the morning and we are already anchored at the next island.

            Rabida has a brick red beach backed by low, sandy red cliffs. Sea lions are snoozing in the sand. They barely slit an eye open as we walk within inches of them. We hiked through the island on a trail that is composed of the same red-tone soil. Robby found a skinny, four-foot long snake which Cesar caught for us to pet. There are no poisonous snakes in Galapagos.

            We snorkled off the beach upon our return. We saw an octopus and several sea lions swimming. As we were snorkeling back, a big bull sea lion swam powerfully in front of the boys and I making threatening movements. When I told Bobby about it, he explained that one of the other men in our group had come up behind the bull on the beach and touched his tail. He was one mad sea lion.

            Our next stop is the incredible island of James. We walked purposefully through the sea lions on this reddish brown beach and followed Cesar to the windward side of the island. The shore here was composed of old lava flows creating formations that appeared as yet fluid where the molten lava was frozen in its tracks when it met the cold ocean water. The lava formations create swirls, ponds, waterfalls, and blow holes where the waves meet the shore.

            The life here is amazing. We had to take care that we didn’t step on one of the hundreds of marine iguanas with their black, peeling skin and ridge of spines upon their fat backs and appealingly ugly heads. When we leaned in too close to one, he would hiss and spit before moving off a few paces.

            Many of the lava pools’ sides were covered in a brillaint green algae. We stood on the edge watching marine iguanas swim in the pools and feed off the algae. Sea lions played in the same pools. Baby pups chased each other in circles, playfully nipping each other or trying to hold their feigned adversary down. One tired mom lay on her back, with her head under water, blowing bubbles--looking for all the world as if she was snoring.

            Cesar has been promising to show us a fur seal, and he finally spotted one here. It was curled up in a hole, striking the perfect mournful-eyed pose. It had no qualms about us approaching within touching distance.

            Sally light-foot crabs add brilliant flashes of color to the black rock. Sally light-foots appear to be a solid, shocking red until closer inspection. They are primarily scarlet, but thin designs of gold and blue upon their carapaces are visible when they still their clacking across the rock.

            Common gulls, pelicans, and boobies fly along the shore, while lava herons and night herons walk beside us on the lava. There was also an American oyster catcher with her five-day-old baby scurrying along behind her.

            Two hours later, which seemed all too soon, we returned to the beach and watched more baby sea lions playing in pools among some rocks. Robby, Michael, and I stood barefoot in the sand where one of the pups kept coming up and nosing our toes. It was rather intimidating after watching this same little rascal nipping his brother’s flippers, but the moment is so magical, we had to accept the risk.

            Saturday, our last full day aboard, we are anchored off Bartholome. The scenery is other-worldly. The island is mostly dry, dusty hills similar to California hills in the summertime. What is so unique is that these hills are surrounded by ocean and fronted with strange spires akin to a child’s drip sand castle blown up to ten stories high.

            Our morning hike takes us over vast lava fields. Black flows stretch as far as the eye can see, interupted only by one hillock of sandy rubble. I found it to be a bleak, dead landscape with uncertain footing and tremendous heat attacking us through our shoes from the absobed heat in the rock and on our heads from the scalding sun.

            Bobby and the boys found it fascinating and Michael goes as far as to say that this is one of his favorite hikes in the Galapagos. There are an endless variety of designs within the flows; some like waves, some spatters, others swirls and diamonds, and even hollow bubbles, some with their tops sheared off to create bowls. We learned that there are two different types of lava--pahoahoa lava which is smooth due to less gases being trapped in the lava and aa aa (ah-ah) lava which is rough.

            We walked up 375 wooden steps to the top of the volcano. There is a monument at the top carved with our latitude and longitude and a breath-taking view of the turquiose lagoon on one side and the sapphire ocean on the other.

            We were more than ready to snorkel after the heat. Our guide drove the tender along the shoreline rocks until we found a Galapagos Penguin. The little guy was not much more than knee-high and stood stock-still, enabling us to see the fine white line that circles around his eye.

We then jumped into the delightfully cold water for some snorkeling. We were blessed with the sight of two penguins swimming directly across our field of vision.

            After lunch, we moved around to the far side of Santa Cruz Island. We took a ride in the tender through Black Turtle Cove, spotting sea turtles and squadrons of golden rays.

            We anchored off Seymour Island for the night. Bobby was standing on deck in the dark of night when he called the boys and I to come look. Sea lions were shooting through the water hunting fish that were attracted to our lights. One caught a fish directly under our noses. The boys went out on the swim platform and we all watched the show. The sea lions were joined by hunting sharks, who seemed to defer to the sea lions, as well as turtles and one pelican who entered in the hunt.

            In the morning, we took a walk on Seymour. There were nesting frigates with their funny-looking babies. The hatchlings are as tall as full-grown barn owls, but covered in sparse, prickly white fluff with stubby, useless wings, uncoordinated necks, and a vacant, dumb look in their eyes.

            The stars of the show were the blue footed boobies. The males were performing their mating dance where they pick up a blade of grass in their beaks,  point their bills to the sky, and slowly bend their necks to their chests, emitting a hollow whistle, while lifting their feet in a parady of the German goosestep. They didn’t seem to take a break, they just kept doing the same thing over and over. We have to wonder how long they’ve been at it because some of the birds have already mated and are guarding eggs laid in sloppily constructed nests on the ground.

            There are sea lions on Seymour as well. One baby came up to Bobby and untied his shoe with its teeth. Another waddled up to Robby, Michael, and I and sniffed our shins. Cesar says they must be California Sea Lions because they seem to like us. He tells us that sea lions swim all the way to Galapagos from California every year. We could be seeing the same sea lions that we have seen before in La Jolla.

            Today’s the day we have to return to Immanuel, so the Lobo De Mar dropped us off at Baltra where we’ll take a ferry the short distance to Santa Cruz Island followed by a two hour bus ride back to Puerto Ayora.

            We’ve had a wonderful tour and enjoyed getting to know the crew but we are ready to go home and see how Bryan and Immanuel are doing.

            It didn’t look good as we pulled up in a water taxi. We left Immanuel anchored bow and stern, but there is no longer a stern anchor and Immanuel is rolling in the swell. Bryan came up top to inform us that that wasn’t the half of it. He had lost the stern anchor on Thursday due to the rode chaffing through. But he didn’t know when he lost the main anchor. We couldn’t comprehend what Bryan was talking about. What could he mean--our anchor couldn’t be gone?

            Bryan woke up Friday morning to an uneasy feeling. He looked around and thought that Immanuel was not in the same spot. Bryan called Kentra to ask their opinion. Jim and Simon came over and determined that the anchor was probably dragging. They helped Bryan raise the anchor to find that the anchor was gone--all there was was the end link of the chain. Jim explained to Bryan that Bobby must not have seized the pin that holds the shackle onto the anchor and that it had worked its way apart. They removed our spare anchor from its bracket on our stern pulpit, shackled and seized it to the chain and re-anchored Immanuel. Then, they went way beyond the call of duty and snorkled in the bay in an attempt to find our bow anchor. They were unable to locate it but we are in their debt for their rapid and seaman-like response to Bryan’s call for help. We could have lost our boat.

            Bobby and I cannot believe our ears as Bryan relates what occurred. First, there are many possible calamities which befall boats, but losing a bow anchor is not one we would expect. Second, we don’t understand how it could have fallen off. Bobby knows he seized the shackle and I remember inspecting the anchor including the seizing just before we left Panama. Third, we rely on the anchor to protect both our boat and its occupants from harm. It is virtualy impossible that it could just fall off. Still, Bobby and the boys don their snorkeling gear and jump in to try to find the anchor.

            Bobby knows where we laid the anchor when we arrived but is unable to find it on the bottom of the bay. The visibility is poor today so he decides to try again tomorrow. We’re all tired from our trip so we eat an early dinner before settling in to a rolly night of sleep without the stern anchor. Poor Bryan has been living like this since Thursday.

            Bobby spent the next day scouring the bottom of the bay. The visibility is much improved and he is able to locate our stern anchor. Bryan, Robby, and Michael join in the search along with some other cruisers. An old, rusty fishermans anchor is salvaged as well as another small anchor that appears to be an earlier cruiser’s stern anchor. Our trusty 75 pound CQR is simply not there.

            Bobby spreads the news of our loss among the cruising community and the Ecuadorians on shore. In the process, he learns that 9 other cruising boats have lost their stern anchors in the last few weeks. Something is starting to sound a bit fishy, so Bobby also puts out the word that we are offering a reward--no questions asked--upon the return of our anchor. He reported the loss to the police and the port captain as well. Bobby also hired some local divers to find the anchor.

            Two men scuba dived all the next day before agreeing that our anchor simply wasn’t there. Bobby dove in search patterns again and still found nothing. We feel certain that someone actually stole our anchor while it was in use, putting Bryan and our boat at fantastic risk. Gives a whole new meaning to the term “anchor watch.”

            We are not only extremely fond of our CQR after its years of perfect service, but it was the only anchor that fit on our bow rollers. The spare anchor we are using now is a 65 pound Danforth that has to be unshackled and stored below or on its rack on the pulpit. It cannot be left secured to the chain and stowed on the bow. Mustang has a 60 pound CQR they would like to sell, but not only is that too light for our boat, the price seems a bit high to us. Tiana is planning to come visit us in the Marquesas, so we decide to use the Danforth (even though it is highly inconvenient) until she can come and bring us a new 75 pound CQR.

            Bryan is scheduled to take the same trip we did, on Lobo de Mar, this Wednesday evening so Bobby dropped him off at the tour boat. In talking to the captain, he learned that large anchors are often stolen from the boats here and sold to fishermen on other islands. Bryan was not expected, even though we had scheduled and paid for his trip last week. He was originally told he couldn’t go on this sailing. Then, he was told he could sleep with the crew in their quarters. Finally, one of the passangers agreed to share his stateroom with Bryan.

            I miss Bryan the few days he is gone. He’s become part of our crew and it doesn’t feel right not to have him at dinner with us or to hear him coming home at night after spending the evening with the friends he has made here.

            There are quite a group of  people Bryan’s age. Another Brian, crewing on Millennium C, Daniel, sailing with his father on Spaghetti, Vicki, crewing on Poppy 1, and Paola, a local girl, are spending the afternoons and evenings together with some other local young adults we haven’t met. We are surprised, and pleased, that there are so many people for Bryan to be friends with.

            The boys went with Bobby and I to tour the Charles Darwin Research Center. They have Galapagos Tortoises in large pens that have been returned to Galapagos from zoos around the world. One of the tortoises is from Los Angleles. We are allowed to walk in the pens among them and I wonder, as I get eye-level with the ex-Angelino, if it is the same tortoise I rode on during a visit to the Los Angeles Zoo as a child. The rest of the center consists of poorly done displays depicting Darwin’s brief trip to Galapagos along with his theory of evolution and dusty trails through the desert-like landscape with signs labeling some of the trees and scrub.

             On the way back, we found a pretty crescent of white beach surrounded by black lava rock. The water in the cove was swimming-pool blue. Marine iguanas sun-bathed on the rocks and swam through the gentle surf.

            Bryan returned from his trip through the islands as thrilled about it as we were. Now, it’s time for us to get ready to leave for the three week passage to the Marquesas.

            Bobby went to the Port Captain’s office to start the procedures for checking out of the Galapagos. Unfortunately, everyone was gone to lunch except for one young officer who did not speak English. Bobby tried to tell him he would come back later to check out, but the man told Bobby to wait. The officer went into the Port Captain’s office and returned with our file. He handed Bobby the whole file and said it would be $380.00US. Bobby questioned both the charge and taking all records of us having been in the Galapagos. The officer went through a list of fees and insisted that the total was $380.00. Bobby decided he should just pay the money and leave after all the fuss we’d made about our anchor being stolen while it was in use.

            When Bobby returned to Immanuel, he went through all the paperwork and realised that we didn’t have a zarpe. A zarpe is an exit paper which proves that we left the country which issued it legally. It is certain that French Polynesia will want to see this paper when we check in there. Bobby went back to the Port Captain’s compound to get  our zarpe.

            As Bobby entered the gate, the officer from earlier saw him and rushed outside to intercept him. The officer put his arm around Bobby’s shoulders and turned him around to walk back outside. Bobby explained the purpose of his return and the officer tried to convince him that he didn’t need a zarpe. Bobby insisted that he couldn’t leave without it. The officer told Bobby to meet him at the volleyball courts at five o’clock this evening.

            Bobby went along with this plan (“When in Rome...”) and walked into town at the appointed time. The officer whistled to him as Bobby was passing a large boulder. He motioned Bobby over behind the boulder with him and presented our zarpe. The officer tried to insist that we leave within two hours. Bobby reminded him that we were going to leave in the morning and would not leave this evening. Finally, the officer agreed.

            While Bobby was out playing cloak-and-dagger games, Bryan brought up something Bobby had said a few days ago. Bobby, just spouting off, mentioned that it would be funny if Paola went with us to French Polynesia and Bryan took over her job at a restaurant and moved into her house. Paola has been wanting to find a family making the trip who would be willing to take her on as crew. We told her we didn’t have room. Bryan asked me if we would mind if Paola came with us instead of him. I was rather startled that he was taking the idea seriously, but I told him it was entirely up to him. We would take either one of them.

            As I thought further, I realized that somehow it did feel right to take this exuberant young woman with us. I don’t know her well, mostly just from frequenting the restaurant where she works, but her manner and way of dress seem as if they could get her into trouble were she to pick the wrong boat to crew on. She has a sunny personality and seems to have a good heart and is almost desperate to find a boat to take her away from the Galapagos for awhile.

            I can’t imagine leaving Bryan here for many reasons. I have such hopes for us to build our relationship and really want to share our experiences at sea and in Polynesia with him. I’m afraid my sister would be outraged were I to leave her son in South America. But still, much as I want Bryan to come with us, it does seem right to take Paola. At this stage, with us already having checked out of the country, I don’t think anything will come of it but I stick with my decision to just let things play out as they may.

            We all went out to Paola’s restaurant for a “last dinner out” before we leave in the morning. Bryan had decided to offer Paola a chance that she otherwise might not get. And she jumped on it. Paola will be our crew and Bryan will stay here in her house for an undetermined amount of weeks.

            We’re all in shock. Bryan is confident he made the right decision, but is understandably filled with doubts. Paola is so giddy she can hardly talk. Bobby and I are sad that Bryan isn’t coming with us and wondering just how it’s going to work out with Paola confined on board with us for three weeks. On the other hand, we are happy for Paola and still feel like it’s the right thing to do. Robby and Michael are a bit confused, but they are good about accepting whatever comes.

            Our only problem, other than the thought of actually leaving Bryan and figuring out how to live with a comparitive stranger on board, is taking care of the paperwork. Bobby went back to the Port Captain’s office in the morning. The same officer, with shifty eyes, jerking head movements, and trembling hands, met him at the gate again and Bobby explained that we needed to do a crew change and get a new zarpe. He suggested that Bobby simply cross Bryan’s name off the old zarpe and add Paola’s. When Bobby refused to do this, the same arrangements were made. “Meet me at the tennis courts at five o’clock and I’ll give you a new zarpe.”

            Bobby and I shopped for more Easter candy so we could leave a tin in Bryan’s luggage for him and have some to give Paola. We also went to see Paola’s house where Bryan would be staying. It’s more of a shed than a house, set in a neighbor’s front yard. There is a bathroom and shower which appeared fairly clean and in working order. The rest of the house consists of a bedroom with an unmade bed and a couple small tables. Large red ants track across the bare floor and the clothing strewn upon it. I have to ask Bryan if he is sure he wants to do this. He assures me he is.

            I mixed up some ant poison (a tablespoon of boric acid, sugar, milk, and enough flour to thicken the mixture--only thing I’ve found that works) back on Immanuel for Bryan while Bobby went back to get our zarpe. Same officer, same rock, only this time he has Bobby kneel down behind a sign with him while he gives him the new zarpe and insists we leave before seven in the morning--we assume because that is when the Port Captain comes on duty.

            We said our good-byes to Bryan--one of the more difficult things I’ve had to do--and settled in to wait for Paola to come aboard at midnight after her farewell party ashore. She arrived on time, a good sign, but with two huge bags of luggage and one small, not such a good sign. She was also decidedly tipsy, maybe not so good, but maybe not so bad, either. It was her going away party after all.

The Passage | The writings of Immanuel