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Ushuaia update 10

17-20th February 2011

Photos show barbecue at the 'Estancia' restaurant ... one of the many long-eared rabbits at the marina, a duck (teal of some kind?) and a pair of kelp geese at low water here. Also, the night heron, skulking during the daytime below the gangway to the marineajetty.


Today I determined to be positive and productive - so, after checking emails & posting yesterday's news on website (with more photos), I turfed out another locker and checked/re-organized contents (not as damaged by seawater as I was expecting...). Also unscrewed side of locker to get at wiring/connection between iPod and radio - that all seems fine but there's a clear area of corrosion on back of radio when I pulled that out to check -so will need to replace it at some point. The bad news is I can only play my iPod music now on my computer, to listen to while working, since I don't like using earphones... I was hoping to be able to fix it to be able to get back to music listening via the radio speakers.

I've not been able to take time off enough to do much exploring. If I can finish with organizing boat prior to (long-delayed) parcels arriving (hopefully next Wed/Thurs), I might be able to do some of the nice walks around here and up to the nearest Glacier &/or National Park before I leave.

Present vague plan is to head for Cape Town, possibly via S. Georgia - weather permitting, if I can get away soon enough. That would at least achieve something, if I could get there safely, since I left there last year on 9th March so getting back there would complete a solo circumnavigation via Capes Good Hope, Leeuwin, (Flattery) & Horn - 3 of the 'Five Great Capes'! Once there, I could finish repairs I can't get done here before moving on - which way, when and to where, are the big questions! I'd like to get back to B.C. - but clearly not a good idea via the S. Ocean in midwinter!

No progress on cargo - agent in Chile not answering phone ... and she's not on email.... So into another day's delay, probably. I'm trying to get an invoice from her, and also from the freight company providing truck to bring goods into Ushuaia.


Very disturbed sleep overnight - big spring tide & winds up to well over 30knots pushing us against fixed jetty, with chop building up quickly across the relatively short distance to shore. Eventually had to adjust fenders and stern line. Heavy rain at times over the day - with some brief sunshine in between.

Still having problems with Chile agent - no Customs paperwork done as yet but finally received a proper invoice by midday, so then I had to go into town to make a cash payment via Western Union. Hoping to confirm cargo will start moving on Monday now she's been paid.... Patience, patience.....

Having to keep very busy working positively on board to keep my spirits up..... Had intended clearing and sorting out two more areas in main cabin - below lockers and bookshelves (quite a few books got very damaged when soaked by seawater after ending up on port side of cabin)... but got side-tracked with emails and Internet once I got back from town - interesting to see discussion on my heaving-to and series drogue deployment etc - all giving me and a lot of other people plenty of useful food for thought!

Had an enjoyable time later that night - went with Dutch cruisers Petra and Corno of 'Simon de Danser' and French cruiser Gilles of 'Menkar' to a free concert in the 'Casa de la Cultura' near the water's edge within easy walking distance of here. Great alto sax (tiny woman!), with good keyboard, drums and guitarist, backing 3 singers (one of whom, in particular, was very good ) - songs of the 80's and 90's, finishing with Queen's "Radio Gaga"! Didn't start until well past 10 o'clock (hall was full of mainly local familes, including babes in arms, by then!) and finished gone midnight. Then back to "Nereida" for tea(!) and chat. Fabulous full moon rose between the mountain peaks across the bay as we made our way towards the concert - regretted no camera with me - but will try for the shot on Saturday....

Saturday/Sunday ....

Hazy sky all Satur day - so no view of moonrise for photo shot at nightfall, as walked into town for a meal, followed by visit to Irish Pub (busy!) for chat with others there, and finally back to marina - to find a birthday party in full swing - so very late to bed, having been made very welcome! Sunday morning hardly existed ... but later in afternoon met up with party-goers again - very nice people - sat on grass in warm sunshine after my work, chatting over wine, fresh bread and chorizo - good to relax in company!

With good weather forecast for several days, decided to deal with jobs on deck - so weekend job was to remove wood tops from around sliding hatch area and the hatch itself & clean area of dust and last remnants of broken glass. Thoroughly cleaned PTFE runners of hatch so it moves a lot more easily now and replaced it (there's a lot of dust in the air here, picked up by the frequent strong wind from the nearby unsurfaced road. Also took apart spade connections behind cockpit instruments - some beginning to show corrosion from the seawater dousing they got in the knockdown, so needed attention to avoid them getting any worse. Painted cleaned connections with a protective lacquer. Brushed a protective 'first aid' coating of varnish onto wood where varnish had been damaged by broken glass.

Sunday was another amazingly sunny, warm day - most unlike normal Ushuaia weather, but definitely feeling like summer with no cold wind blowing - so very pleasant working in the open. Lots of people visited the jetty on a Sunday walkabout - slowed my work progress at times since many stopped by for a chat and to ask about how the boom had got broken.... But all very pleasant ... and that evening, over by dinghy to 'Simon de Danser' for a meal ... to finish a very enjoyable,but productive, weekend!

Written by : Mike

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