01 deg 11'S
Longitude: 91 deg 7W
Wind Direction: S
Wind Speed: 6 Knots
Sea State 3
Swell(s) Height: 2-4 Foot
Sea Temperature: 68°F (20°C)
Barometric Pressure: 1014.9 MB
Visibility: 12 Nautical Miles
Eggs and potatoes
Bacon, ham and sausage
(Dried cereal is always available in the pantry)
OJ in a bucket
Spaghetti and meat sauce
Peanut butter cookies
Apple pie and ice cream
September 16, 2001
by Christina Reed
Clouds hang over the south coast of Isabela creating a curtain of
drizzle. This is the garúa season - Spanish for mist.
When the cold ocean currents drive the prevailing southeast
winds up against Cerro Azul and Sierra Negra, the garúa
shrouds the slopes of the volcanoes. We are dredging on the
southern submarine terraces of Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul
now, smack in the garúa.
At higher elevations on the volcanoes, the garúa clouds
become thicker and more persistent. The cold ocean air is colliding
with the warmer air above it. But the drizzle from the garúa
is not enough to create rivers, only small springs. Its
wet enough to cultivate orange trees and grow some grass pastures
for cows, Denny says. And its enough for
people to collect drinking water, but not enough for irrigation.
A trip to the northern slopes of Galápagos volcanoes - the side shielded
from the wind, also called the leeward side - reveals a dry and parched landscape.
On Santa Cruz, the bus ride from Puerto Ayora to the airport on the north side
crosses from the windward to the leeward side of the island. As soon as
you go over the summit its like a climate switch is thrown - its totally
dry, Denny Geist says.
From January to May, the Panama Current warms
the ocean around the Galápagos
creating a season of hot and humid weather. Cloudbursts interrupt the sunshine
bringing rain almost daily. Some years you have the garúa all year
long with no real rain, Denny says. Other times the ocean currents
become warm for so long that the rain continues all year - those are El Niños.
Long periods of warm water dont help the marine life. Sea lions, penguins,
marine iguanas and seabirds all depend on the cold Humboldt Current, which delivers
cold-water plankton to the waters around the Galápagos. Plankton and algae
are at the bottom of the food chain around these islands - the health of the
marine communities depends on them.
These unique weather conditions and the remoteness
of the Galápagos have
been important in shaping the evolution of animal life on these islands. Since
Darwins time, these enchanted islands and their animals have
helped us interpret how life has evolved on our planet.
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