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Ushuaia update 4

Saturday 22nd January 2011

Gaspar came to look at and discuss stainless windscreen - to be removed for repair on Monday....

Barbecue (organized by Nicolas, 'Fleur de Sel' - Swiss couple). Sociable, enjoyable evening - mainly speaking French!

'Spoke' beforehand to David ('Lenseman') Wheatley on Skype - he exchanged text messages with me from the "Ring 'O Bells" in Ashcott Somerset - lovely old pub with a sailing Landlord and wife!! We had an enjoyable, long chat - seems that he had played a major part in helping the contact between Bill, KI4MMZ, (of the Maritime Mobile Net in the US) and Falmouth CG, after I'd had my knockdown.

Spent a lot of time during the day, replying to lots of the many emails I rec'd a time ago - long overdue and still lots waiting for a reply.... apologies to those still waiting...

Sun 23Jan

Lovely warm morning - took my time removing 30 screws from windscreen - holding it onto the coachroof.    Pleasant to be able to work in nice sunshine for a change.

Time spent later on cleaning out an underfloor compartment ... full of wet bubble wrap (used for bottle protection) - can't replace, so having to clean and dry...

Planned to meet up with 'Uhambo' for a last meal together after my evening shower - but arrangement went pear-shaped, so I ended up in town having a (very tender, tasty) steak in the Bodega Fueguino.

Mon 24Jan

'Uhambo' left for the Falklands for 2-3 wks, before sailing back here for Jeanne & Bernard to fly back to Nantes - I'll miss their cheerful helpfulness and hospitality.   "Nereida" is now alongside the dock.

Gaspar took the stainless steel windscreen frame away to repair.  I put up some canvas over the hatchway area to try to give some protection from the frequent rain.   Got email to confirm new series drogue was finished and now on its way to California to be brought here next week.  More cleaning of area and items below cooker.

Took mains'l by taxi with Roxanna (12 pesos each way) to upholsterer for repair - the nearest to a sailmaker that Ushuaia can offer...   Has Dacron, so will be able to repair rip and other damaged, chafed area close to where boom broke.   I was thinking of sewing it myself - but just too much else to do and I don't have enough sail material for the area of chafe damage - quite a few small holes.

Fred ("Serenité") had his 40th birthday -' bubbly' and birthday cake with candles in clubhouse later in evening with other cruisers, after brief visit to Heidi and Nicolas on "Fleur de Sel" for chat before they leave, as does "Serenité", on Tuesday for Puerto Williams.

Tues 25Jan

Not a lot achieved today - although I have cooked a thick bean & barley broth - soaked the dried beans etc overnight.     It's been very welcome, with a cold wind blowing off the snowy mountains.   Had to adjust mooring lines several times with a very low tide, to make sure we didn't end up hanging off the dock by our cleats...!!   An adjacent boat had to delay leaving yesterday- a fender got jammed between the vertical wooden slats beside the dock - and the stanchion it was tied to gave way completely under the strain as the water rose and it ended up totally bent down - doubled, in fact.   Alerted me to the danger, so I've tied a couple of mine so they're horizontal now.

Listening to the local radio station while I work - found one playing very Argentinian music all day long... lots of 'pasa doble' and accordion playing, and plenty of amusing Latin high drama and emotion in the singing - frequently two vocalists harmonizing...  all good for my Spanish, trying to catch the odd word or phrase!

The local charter boat beside me just now is 'Ksar' - which was the boat who first saw me in Caleta Martial, where I anchored soon after I'd rounded the Horn, and shouted over to me that the Chileans wanted to me to contact them to confirm I was OK.   'Ksar' regularly takes visitors out for a weeklong trip to Cape Horn via the Beagle Channel & some of the many island anchorages on the way there and back.  Lots of wildlife to see - penguins and birdlife galore in the Beagle Channel and many albatross around the islands and sea closer to the Cape.

Lots of French boats here - all came down from Europe via Brazil.  But by tomorrow all except one will have left - mainly to head up the Chilean Channels , having checked in to Chile first in Puerto Williams, a short sail away down the Beagle Channel from here.  Then they'll make for the Pacific. probably from Puerto Montt.   The exodus leaves me without most of the friendly people I've met with recently ....

All port locker contents, especially low down, of course, were coated with seawater along with some diesel mixed with bilgewater (had a split, leaking jerry can cap in cockpit locker)  - taking a time to deal with, along with other things that have to be done (Trying to figure out why my FM radio has stopped 'seeing' the iPod - think maybe there's water got into iPod/radio connector tucked away behind portside upper lockers .... add getting to that to the joblist!)

Written by : Mike

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