The Good Ship Cachalote
NOTE: Since this website was written, the Cachalote has been
extensively remodeled. She has been lengthened and now carries 16 passengers
in eight air conditioned double cabins, and has been rechristened the
Cachalote I. When we acquire new photos we will re-do this website. In
the meantime, the photos below still give you a feel for life aboard the
Cachalote I. But for up-to-date specs and other info, visit Enchanted
Expeditions website at Enchanted Expeditions.
Her name means "Sperm Whale". She is a 70 ft long, steel hulled, ketch-rigged
yacht, of 18 ft beam, built in California in 1971, and she is beautiful. She
can move under sail, and the sails are commonly deployed during cruises. But
she normally moves under engine power produced by a 280 h.p. Caterpillar
diesel. Electricity is supplied by 7.5 and 20 kw generators for 220 and 110
A.C., and 12 volt D.C. Other equipment includes 24 mile radar, VHS and SSB
marine radios, depth sounder, freezer and refrigerator, desalinator, and a
tender with outboard motor.
The Cachalote is manned by a captain, bilingual park naturalist-guide,
2 sailors, and cook (the most popular crewman of all). She carries 10
passengers in five 2-bunk cabins: four aft cabins and one forward cabin next
to the captain's cabin.
The Cachalote is small, but she has the lines of a thoroughbred, and is a joy to behold. Her size can be
an advantage, allowing her to sail where some of the large, deep-draft cruise
vessels cannot go. Although Galápagos waters are generally so calm that
even small vessels suffer little pitch and roll, the Cachalote also
has the advantage of having sails which can be deployed to steady her, if
needed. She is not a luxury vessel. Although the forward passenger cabin has
its own small head, the four aft cabins share two heads. The aft cabins are
air conditioned, and each bunk is also equipped with a small electric fan.
The main salon of the Cachalote is
where meals are served, where the park naturalist gives briefings before each
day's activities, and where passengers relax between landings. A small
shipboard library is maintained to provide passengers with information on the
archipelago, its history, and its fabulous wildlife. A self-service bar is
available, on the honor system, with cold drinks, beer, and liquor.
When passengers are not in their cabins or relaxing in the main salon, they are
generally found on the forward deck, catching
some sun as the scenery glides by, readying their gear for the next outing,
writing in their trip journals, and socializing.
A more exciting perch to ride is in the bownet,
the best vantage point for watching the dolphins play in the clear water below.
A collection of snorkels, masks and swim fins is always on board for the use of
the passengers. However, as snorkeling is such an important part of any
Galápagos cruise it is highly recommended that passengers bring their
own snorkeling gear to insure that they have properly fitting equipment.
Scuba diving can also be done on Cachalote cruises, but must be arranged
in advance with the tour operator.
A small photo gallery of the Cachalote
Photos on this website by Janie and Ric Finch, @copyrighted.