Sometimes Even the Best-Laid Plans Go Awry

The plan for today was simple: refuel and take on fresh water, offload the garbage, and move out for a hull cleaning at anchor.
The following is part of a multi-part series. Melissa Baffa, Vice President of Program and Volunteer Services for GSCCC, is part of the Corps of Exploration this year on the adventure of a lifetime. This blog series will chronicle her dive into the Unknown.
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The plan for today was simple: refuel and take on fresh water, offload the garbage, and move out for a hull cleaning at anchor.
The Galapagos Islands are recognized around the world as a treasure worth a painstaking effort to preserve. A thorough cleaning of the Nautilus’s hull is required in order to enter the waters surrounding this environment, and it is a process that can be rather lengthy, and must be undertaken during daylight hours.
The ship is secured so the “bunkering” can start.
Shifting the ship slightly, redocking, offloading the garbage, and getting the refueling going went relatively well. The process was to take about two hours. But the hours slipped by, and by, and by. The blue skies gave way to clouds; the clouds parted and formed again. Through it all, the sun beat down relentlessly. The air was humid enough to fog my camera lens.
Frigate birds circled lazily overhead, and giant container ships sent the Nautilus rocking as they passed by on their way toward the canal. 
Frigate birds sailed overhead – beautiful!
The ship started to list from taking on the fuel. Half a day passed, and by lunch it was known that the refueling was taking too long; we would have to wait and have the hull cleaned tomorrow. We would be spending another night in port.

“Housekeeping” tasks and catching up filled the hours; people gathered and chatted and got to know each other better. Planning, writing, editing, training, brainstorming, exploring ideas: a lot goes on quietly during a day stuck in port.

Tomorrow we will move to the cleaning location early, and then be on our way. 3-4 days until we get to the Galapagos. In the meantime, we plan and we dream.

Skip to the next blog post by Melissa: Getting Underway

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