Friday 11th February - Photo shows view East down Beagle Channel from AFASyN Marina, Ushuaia:
Several bits of good news over the last few days - the main one being the confirmation that the parcels from Sweden had definitely been received by the receiving agent at the airport, unfortunately not early enough to be cleared through Customs in time for the weekly ship on Wednesday. That means they're not expected this way until end of next week and then it will be a few more days until I can see them on board 'Nereida'. This being S. America, let's say within two weeks I hope to be able to start work on the replacement boom etc ...?
My Skype problem of last week has caused a few comments - and friend Laurie Miller even got Skype management to contact me with an offer of help - but since my last re-instal, it seems to be fine, although I've not allowed it to start up automatically with each computer start up as I used to - not sure if that's relevant, but it seemed a sensible step to avoid possible problems... I wondered if the OS being Windows 7 Starter on my Acer netbook contributed to the problem, but don't know.
Yesterday, 'Kilico', with Kåre & Lillian on board, headed down the Beagle Channel for Puerto Williams - as do most boats leaving from here to head up the Chilean Channels towards Puerto Montt, just over 1000 miles away. ( They all check in to Chile at P. Williams, having checked out from Argentina here in Ushuaia on the day they leave.) It's been lovely to have them so close by for the last week or so and Lillian kindly used her sewing machine to repair a torn halyard bag for me the day before they left.
I tested out the Eberspacher heater again just before they left - and found, to my delight, that it finally seemed to be working. Kåre had looked into the heat-exchanger end to see if the flame sensor had come loose - as instructed by the S. England UK Eberspacher agent, who kindly emailed me with things to check out when the heater seemed not to be behaving properly after our previous efforts.... I told Kåre he must have a 'magic touch' since he'd actually done nothing but take photos of the heat sensor to send to the agent- not needed, as it turns out, since it's heating the boat fine now. I also got an email confirming that maybe all that had been needed was to prime the system by repeated efforts to start it up (now that the original air leaks had been successfully dealt with).... The Sigmar heater is still awaiting my attention but I think, without strong wind, that's just a matter of my getting used to the lighting sequence - it can't be so very difficult since so many people I know love them and use them regularly!
Tuesday saw several of us headed into town for a meal together - Dutch, Austrian, Norwegian and Brit cruisers - very European! We had an 'eat as much as you want' meal for 78 pesos ( £13/$21) - excellent food and choice, including delicious lamb (speciality of this region)! Other boat neighbours were Polish (Andrej on 'Panicka' sailed over solo from Australia but was joined by two friends - they sailed off this afternoon) and there's even a Turkish boat! There's still a high proportion of French boats here, most of which are aluminium or steel, with very few glass fibre.
Wednesday and yesterday morning were remarkable for true 'summer weather' - the sun actually shone with enough warmth for me to strip off my fleece layers and ski socks, needed since arriving here, and don teeshirt and thin cotton trousers - lovely!! I made use of the big sink and plentiful hot water in the clubhouse for a major clothes (hand)washing session - all dried in no time in the strong wind of late Wednesday afternoon!
Propane ran out just as I finished making coffee yesterday - it's easily obtainable here for refills, but means a long taxi ride to beyond the far outskirts of town....
An east wind kicked up unexpectedly yesterday afternoon - amazing how quickly a nasty chop kicks up from the long fetch down the Beagle Channel, making for difficulties for boats moored up on the East side of the jetty, against which the surge pushes them - often violently and dangerously.... forcing them to move away to avoid damage.
Picked up my repaired mains'l this afternoon, after a long walk out (but taxi back!) to beyond the main airport to reach the upholsterer who did the repair. He also provided me with replacement clips to replace all the broken ones on the canvas bag holding the Jordan series drogue - my new Austrian neighbours are letting me use their sewing machine this weekend to do that work. They also had an accurate barometer reading available - so I've calibrated my barometer which was reading nearly 30hPa too high since replacing the batteries after the knockdown. Final good news was finding out that one of the Dutch couple used to work for Simrad in the Netherlands - Corn offered to come by in the morning to see if he can help with my external speaker problem on my VHF. Since my UK Simrad/Navico contact has surprisingly failed to respond to my last (repeated!) 2 or 3 emails, having previously been very helpful, his offer was very welcome.