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Ushuaia update 13

Last Friday, two of us went in a truck sent from fuel station a long way out of town to fill up empty 200l drums loaded at yacht club. Once back, we had to manhandle the drums on a cart to the dock and then use a 12V pump and some long hose to fill the tanks and jerry cans on board several boats - all took a time and a lot of communal effort!


While the cockpit locker was emptied of jerrycans, I got down below the locker floor to the calorifier (hot water tank), multimeter in hand, to access the electrical connections ... Hadn't had hot water for quite a time so, with difficulty due to pipe in the way, undid the end cover to gain access to mains power input and thermostat ... found power was clearly getting in but not heating the water.... Ray of 'Hortense' kindly came by to look at it and spent quite a time checking everything out - and finally worked some 'magic' because, for no apparent reason (except being dismantled and put back together), it started behaving. I'd also got my small fan heater working again the day before - turned into a simple 'fix' when I realized that a cut-out on the base was keeping the fan switched to 'off' with a part having gone missing ... I taped the swich permanently on .... so hot water and heater both working fine - just in time for the present cold spell - good news! I'd also spent some time putting instrument panel together & getting the shorecharger MICC panel back in place, having spent quite a time attempting to replace it - but the connections proved impossible to budge - so that's had to be left to Cape Town to finish.

Gaspar should have come by on Saturday with the repaired windscreen for me to clean it all up before fixing it on Wednesday - but he finally turned up, surprisingly , the morning of holiday Shrove Tuesday, with father Pancho and cleaned steelwork, to fix it in place along with the sprayhood frame above it - after which Teresa of "Artemisia' helped me place the canvas on the frame - a difficult job which had us struggling until Teresa had the bright idea of separating the bulk of the canvas from the strip above the windscreen - that step made the job so much easier - so now the hatch/companionway area is finally protected from dust, rain and wind - lots of people commented on the boat clearly looking so much better now!


Before the staysail could be dealt with, I had to cut off the chafed end of the halyard close to the shackle, re-do the knot and then seize the bitter end in place for security.
Staysail is now in place on new Furlex (although sheets have yet to be located, having hidden themselves somewhere on board!). The various reef lines for the mainsail were sorted out just before the wind got up too strongly to get the mainsail on, which is still in its bag - we're definitely looking far more tidy and ready above decks now, especially now the cockpit area has also been sorted out and tidied. Had a lot of help from Sam of 'Suvretta' - who also came along early that morning to the French bakery 'El Almacen' to order their specially-baked, long-lasting, brown bread for picking up Friday - supposed to last for 20-25 days and Swedish skipper Milo on 'Artemisia' says it lasted well when she got it recently. (Finally bought hammer, no.7 spanner and extra large, flat screwdriver - all needed in toolkit, having been on my 'shopping list' for quite a time!)

Have been impressed by local Chilean restaurant Chiko's - especially their calamari rings followed by king crab with Parmesan (I'm finally appreciating the local seafood!) and there's also plenty of fresh fish here, to add variety to the excellent Argentine beef and local lamb. Tonight had a farewell dinner for 'Artemisia' at my other favourite restaurant, the Bodega Fueguino - where we also dined with the newly-arrived crew of 'Drina', with whom I'd been in contact as I sailed down S towards Cape Horn and they sailed E from New Zealand towards Puerto Montt (Chile) in December.

Swedish 'Artemisia' has been ready to leave for several days now - but the wind has been gusting up to over 40 knots at times, with pressure really low (down to 975hPa) as a deep depression passes over... At least it meant they were still here to enjoy the local Carnival on Tuesday (and Teresa gave me a haircut on Saturday!) - and I was able to make them crêpes with maple syrup and lemon juice that evening (Pancake Day), along with single-handers Peer (Norway) and Sam (N.Ireland) - haven't celebrated that for several years.... 'Artemisia' are hoping to get away finally on Friday - when I'd also hoped to leave, but I'm not yet ready (maybe Saturday...)

Friday is 'provisioning & mainsail day' for me.... The winds are expected to abate from this evening - to die right down for several days, in fact - so I could well be motor-sailing away from here... making initially for Harberton and then on NE from the Le Maire Strait to the Falklands - a change of plan from S. Georgia in view of the lateness of my departure (and the resulting more frequent deep depressions that far S) and the ice that people tell me is likely to be met up with on the approach to S. Georgia (due to the Antarctic Convergence Zone).

Carnival in Ushuaia:



Sunset over Ushuaia after the Carnival:

Written by : Mike

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