After sailing 924 nautical miles, our voyage from Panama to Galapagos with Travel Edge is now complete! As the multidisciplinary set sail across the Pacific Ocean, they were shocked to see more trash than wildlife at 400 miles offshore despite not spotting any ships or land for 4 days.
During the journey S.V. TravelEdge also crossed the equator, and the moment was marked by a traditional ceremony including exercises on deck, drinking some truth serum (aka hot sauce!), dousing with seawater and snipping a small bit of hair as an offering to Neptune!
After some showers and a squall, the women onboard arrived safely and ahead of schedule, but not before jumping into 3,000-meter deep waters to scrub the hull two days before anchoring to comply with the Galapagos Marine Reserve rules preventing vessels from bringing any type of invasive species into protected area. Hundreds of red-footed-boobies welcomed our boat to San Cristobal Island.
Once back on land, our crew engaged the local community to learn more about the initiatives of the Plastic Pollution Free Galapagos led by the Galapagos Conservation Trust. They were invited to join the underwater beach clean that happens 3 to 4 times a year and help save sea urchins from fishing gear.
Daniela Ruales, one of the bursary recipients from an anonymous donor onboard our voyage is from San Cristobal and has worked with the Galapagos Science Center (GSC) for over six years, sharing her unique perspective on the challenges faced tackling the plastic pollution problem in an isolated archipelago. Our crew visited the waste management facility where they process about 25 tonnes of plastic per month, and shared their firsthand experiences at a community outreach event, both hosted by our partners at the GSC.