After safely passing through the Panama Canal, the yachts taking part in the first ever Oyster World Rally have now sailed over 3000 miles and are currently 900 miles into the Pacific Ocean. The Oyster fleet has regrouped in the magical Galapagos Islands. Situated in the Pacific Ocean 500 nautical miles from the South American continent, the archipelago of 19 islands and the surrounding marine reserve is a showcase of evolution. The Galapagos are a melting pot of marine species. On going seismic and volcanic activity coupled with the extreme isolation of the islands, has led to the development of unusual animal life such as the land iguana and the giant tortoise, which inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection.
From Switzerland, Lukas Schiesser is taking part in the Oyster World Rally with his family on board the Oyster 54, In Flagranti. “It has been my dream for years to dive with Hammerhead sharks.” Admitted Lukas. “The Galapagos is one of the few places in the world that these amazing creatures can be seen in abundance, often swimming in huge groups. In my opinion, this phenomenon makes the islands the most amazing place on earth. They are sharks, so they have the potential of being dangerous but they are not known to be aggressive. It is unlikely you will see them unless you scuba dive as they tend to swim below 30 metres or more, so it is fantastic that Oyster have arranged our diving permits.”
Oyster Project Manager, Debbie Johnson and Customer Care Manager Eddie Scougall are providing constant support for the Oyster World Rally during the 14-month odyssey around the world. “It is just so amazing here! It is like being in another world, a real adventure.” Commented Debbie Johnson. “Some of the islands have only recently been formed. You can literally see the evolution of the landscape from the lava flow. Peaks appear, followed by plant life such as mangroves and then the wildlife. Some of the islands are totally barren, whilst others that have been here for millions of years are lush green. The Galapagos is like a mini-world, a unique eco-system.
Everyone is so excited to be here and the thing that just astonishes you straight away is the incredible abundance and diversity of wildlife, rays jumping out of the water, sea lions coming to greet you. At night many of the Oyster yachts put on their underwater lights and there are sharks, sea lions and all sorts of marine animals playing about right under the boats, it is just incredible."