30-JAN-11: Isla San Cristobal
It was raining when we woke this morning. First time on the cruise. Not a heavy rain, but regular enough to get you wet quickly. The boat ride in to the ferry was enough to get our bags and clothes wet. The ramp from the dock up to the pier was all wood, and with Katie pregnant, I tried to carry all the bags. I never realized why docks in the US are made of corrugated metal with metal teeth, almost sharp enough to hurt, turned up to the soles.
I learned on that wooden ramp: first step, I lost my footing on the slick, wet wood, falling backwards. Malina, who was waiting for us on the pier, helped carry one of the bags up. But the damage was done. I had pulled my back muscles. I have no idea how badly, though. I hope it’ll recover quickly. I’m in the hotel right now, waiting for the Vicodin (leftover from my back injury from December, and that I brought along just in case) to kick in.
The ferry was an odd experience as well. It was a small speed boat, probably not big enough for two people to sleep on, and with 20 airplane seats bolted into the hold. Avatar with Spanish subtitles was on the flat screen TV. The front four seats on the left were soaked from water spilling out of the air conditioner in the ceiling.
The ride was supposed to take 2.5 hours, getting us in to Puerto Ayora at 9:30 a.m. But maybe 20 minutes into the trip, the boat’s engine cut off and the boat made a 270-degree turn, stopping dead in the water. The engine compartment between the airplane seats was quickly opened, and the crew had jumped inside to fix whatever it was that was wrong. I couldn’t make any sense out of the Spanish, and the engine was still idling, so it couldn’t have been horrible.
Soon enough, we were on our way (it seemed we were moving more slowly, however), and after around 2 more hours, the boat slowed down as we approached the northern side of an island. Which bothered me, as Puerto Ayora is on the southern side of Santa Cruz. Assuming we’d been moving at the same speed as before, we should’ve been 30 minutes away from Puerto Ayora, and land should be to our north, not our south.
No, it was another pit stop to repair the boat. This time, they took all of our luggage out of the hold to get at… I assume it was the fuel line.
They got the boat moving again after 20 minutes, but the AC broke. With the engine directly beneath us, it got hot pretty quickly. As the boat was moving, the crew hopped in to the engine area a couple more times, but we didn’t stop again.
After two more hours, we finally reached Puerto Ayora around 11:30 a.m. Two hours late.
By that time, my back was killing me. Now, I’m worried I’ll be laid up for the second half of the trip. Time to take some Vicodin.