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Tuesday 11th Jan 2011

Sunday - a day of rest and relaxation....

Plenty of good intentions - but not a lot achieved!!

Slept until awoken at 11am by knocking on hull - Jonathan, husband of helpful Roxana, came by ... Lexan, instead of glass, in windscreen, he suggested. Sleeve over broken boom to repair -a couple of good guys here Fly canopy& framework in from Sweden to Punta Arenas 'Free zone' ...to Pto Williams, to bring here on a boat - that plan is to avoid excessive Argentinian customs fees and complications!!

Very windy here - and cold! Midsummer but not very warm - lots of small sailing boats and big cruise ships heading down to Antarctic from here.

Evening spent relaxing with neighbouring French boat and company - testing my rusty French!! Nice people - they kept toasting me and filling my glass - thoroughly thirsty overnight and next morning.....!!

Monday - cleared Customs and continued trying to clean and clear boat - very slow process. Had well-recommended welder come by to look at metal repairs needed - boom, sprayhood/awning/windscreen and also repair of broken pole - was pleased to hear that sounded perfectly feasible - so much easier using carbon pole than heavy telescopic Al one.

Sent off sea-wetted big items to be washed - settee long cushion, pillows, small cushions and other items.

Dinner with neighbouring French boat - Alain and Anne being so very helpful and supportive.

Day seemed to disappear with not a lot achieved... but got a local phone simcard - good news for communications... Lots of supportive emails received (wifi here, if I take my computer into the 'yacht club' building) - thank you to so many of you for that - it definitely helps my morale which is often a bit low just now - so much to do and not easy to effect proper repairs here since almost no facilities ... and Argentinian Customs situation not helpful.

Tuesday - Motored away from dock and turned boat around when a boat moved nearby - general shuffling around of boats (normally rafted up to dock 2-3 deep). With strong NW winds so prevalent here (~25knots), it was better to be bows into wind, rather than stern-to, as I was initially.

Alain and another neighbour helped me take sail off boom (and also stays'l, since furling gear and foil damaged) , ready to try to remove boom halves - ran into a problem with outhaul - complicated and not looking hopeful for successful repair - might be best to try to bring new boom in.

Back to boat after pause in clubhouse for wi-fi to check emails etc (& write this well-overdue log update!) - more clearing down below and looking for items among mess in aft cabin and forepeak. Alain & Anne have friends flying in from France next week who could bring me small items direct - if I can tell them what I need (such as the damaged relay between chart table and AP course computer power lead) - and maybe some sail material for repair - can't get such things here.

LATER:  With Alain's help, managed to get gas flowing to galley - so can put little (highly unsafe!) camping burner away - and will cook a 'proper' meal tonight...  There seems to be a big problem with electrics on board - presumably got seawater in them somewhere - gas solenoid was OK but every time I tried to enable it, it blew the circuit - and the main  ship's supply from batteries closed down with it... had to manually re-set the main switch.   So the only way to get gas flowing was to take the solenoid valve out of the gas suppply system - means I'm back to manual shut-off below stove - so not the end of the world...!

Also managed finally to get shore power connection - thanks to Fred (another French cruiser nearby)  - mine being left in Pt Townsend before I left there who lent me the cable I needed (who needs shorepower on a nonstop RTW sail?!)

While clearing up today, I found the battery chargers I'd lost sight of for my camera - so I'll try to post some photos of Ushuaia soon - quite a dramatic setting here - reminiscent of Alaska with mountains and snow close by the town...

Sometimes I think things are going well - other times I wonder if I'll manage ever to get away with adequate repairs effected ... I just have to keep plugging away and trying to stay positive ...

Thanks again for all the supportive emails - they've often kept me smiling when I've read them!!

Written by : Mike

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