24th March 2013 – Panama to Galapagos – UFOS, Sharks, Banana Man and DJ Spinaka

Panama to Galapagos – UFOS, Sharks, Banana Man and DJ Spinaka

We left Balboa yacht club with a fully loaded boat, 380l of Diesel, 700l of water, 140 cans of soft drink, 6 weeks’ worth of food, 15kg of chocolate and 12 bottles of rum. We did a lot of motoring as there wasn’t much wind, Damien saw a UFO or so he thought and we had a huge equator crossing party which ended up with a man overboard.

After a busy week provisioning and getting Charm Offensive ready to sail over 4000nm we left Panama for our first stop of the Galapagos before sailing on to Hiva Oa in the Marquises. We had a friend of Damien’s, Margirata, and Roland help us provision in Panama and we can’t thank both of them enough for their help. Thanks Guys.

Here is Damien’s UFO sighting or thought there off – Named thunderstorm at sea, 1:30am Panama Basin, halfway to Galápagos Islands.

Shit!! Lightning!! What are you supposed to do again? Don’t go under a tree. Check. Should I stay barefoot or put rubber thongs on? (only an Australian would consider a pair of thongs as potential safety footwear). Decide to stay barefoot, can’t find thongs in the dark anyway. Don’t touch metal. The wheel’s metal. Thank god for the autohelm. Still, at least tonight’s lightning is not as close as last nights on Nick C’s watch, where he watched it strike the water near the boat, close enough to smell the ozone. Must remember to ask him if he put on thongs. Ah! One thing I remember – put hand held electrical items such as VHF GPS in the oven. Apparently it acts as a faraday cage in the event of the boat getting struck. I wonder if I could fit in there…

After about 20 minutes of boxing the compass, the wind finally decided where it wanted to come from. Right on the nose of course. Finally we can head out of this downpour though.

A glowing green orb appears on the starboard side, about 50m from the boat. Maybe another fishing line marker (we had seen a few of them earlier on, marking the start and end of long line fishing lines, plus theres a few fishing boats out here)? But those markers are a bright, white, flashing light. Clearly not this. A giant squid or blob of phosphorescence? That must be it. Green orb then takes to the sky and shoots towards the front of the boat. Holy crap! Is there such thing as flying squid? There’s flying fish, and we are near the Galapagos, maybe I’ve just made a stunning new biological discovery. Maybe I’ll get a Nobel prize. Snap out of it Damo! There is no such thing as flying squid, now or ever, what a ridiculous notion. No it obviously is exactly as it appears – An alien space craft sent to spy on us. It is the only logical answer. Alien ship comes back, again hovering along the starboard side, about mast height. Seriously spooked now. I can’t see forward or up very well to follow its path as we have the dodger and bimini up. At least the Alien can’t see me either I figure. Ten minutes of my watch left. Just want to get below, dry out, and not see any more aliens. Then its back for a third time. Closer now, in fact I can now see the cockpit of the craft. It is shaped like a seagull head, and the fuselage is seagull body shaped. It is a seagull, glowing green because it is flying in the loom of the starboard tri colour…

3am. time for bed.

As for the equator crossing and the man overboard, this is best summed up in the following video. If you work for green peace then please be aware that no Dolphins were actually injured in the making of this film, we were joking. This video has been edited for a PG viewing. The full version which contains very coarse language can be viewed upon request when we return.

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