|"Egret" N4674 - Scott and Mary Flanders
Ed note: After a summer filled with cruising along the Mediterranean and conducting final preparations for their big voyage, Scott and Mary Flanders left September 16th, 2006 for the Canary Islands - the first stop in their great adventure taking them from Gibraltar to New Zealand by way of Cape Horn. After successfully traversing the Horn, the Flanders fell in love with the pristine cruising grounds of the "deep south" and decided to winter in Chile, thus postponing their arrival into New Zealand by a year, but they reached their goal destination in October 2008. Now plans call for exploring the lands of New Zealand and Australia. Here, the latest update from the Flanders as they keep us continually apprised of their journey with weekly log reports.
February 23, 2007
Position: S54 56.44 W69 09.40 Caleta Olla pp 507 Pat & TdelF guide
Well, mi amigos, very small world. Do you believe the picture? Two
Nordhavn's anchored together in the Chilean Canals. Dick and Gail Barnes
aboard Ice Dancer II left from their home in Alaska taking a very long trek
south via Mexico, Galapagos, offshore west of the Humboldt current entering
Chile at the northern extreme. From there they hopped along the Chilean
coast entering the Chilean Canals from the north then south to Puerto
Williams, Chile before rounding Cape Horn. They had a great rounding taking
pictures in sunglasses and Hawaii shirts. Dick and Gail have put 16,500nm
on their Nord 57 in the past year. What's next???? Nordhavn Cape Horn
Tonight its a pot luck aboard ID II. Gail is preparing dorado. What a
treat for the Egret crew. Our last dorado was eaten some time back. ID II
is on the way back through the Chilean Canals, up the South American west
coast and on to California then Hawaii. From Hawaii they will fly home to
catch their breath. Pretty intrepid crew mi amigos.
Long distance cruising is a continual round of unexpected treats. Many,
many friendships are made. In this very small world these folks appear,
disappear then reappear. It is amazing. It seems everyone knows someone
who you have run into here or there. Speaking of that, after typing the
last sentence a French boat we were in Caleta Hornos with for three days (CH
is on the Argentine coast) just pulled in. We helped by taking their lines
ashore and will visit later. Its a social whirl.
February 21, 2007
Position: S55 02.25 W69 36.47 Caleta (Cove) Caracoles (about 8 miles
east of the last anchorage in Fisherman's Bay Temp 64 degrees pp 516 Patagonia & TdelF guide 10.42
Well, mi amigos, the picture is the ice we promised. The picture was taken
several miles inside Estero Fonque (Funky Bay) two anchorages ago. This is
the first of three glaciers in the 10-mile deep fjord. It is on the right
going in. We bumped Egret slowly, barely moving, until we touched then
turned for the photo in the no wind situation. You can see how blue the ice
is. The picture is straight from the camera with no 'juicing'. Beautiful.
The day was quite warm however when we pulled in front of the glacier the
cold air was moving down. We gathered some glacier ice from the nearby
bergy bits that lasted a few days. There are so many glaciers everywhere we
have our old private joke going. Ho hum, another glacier. In the
Mediterranean it was; Ho hum, another amphitheater. I know we didn't get
tired of amphitheaters. There is NO way we'll get tired of the glaciers.
The winds have laid down and the heavier rains have given us a break. We
will now move almost daily eastward toward Puerto Williams, Chile to hike
there a bit before returning to Ushuaia to meet some folks around the first.
Mary will be flying back to Ft. Lauderdale for doctor appointments and taxes
early April. Yours truly will boat watch and yuk it up with the other
boaters. When she returns we'll head out immediately to cruise during the
austral fall. The Ardrizzis, who wrote the Patagonia & Tierra del Fuego
Guide, said the fall is their favorite time to cruise.
Caleta Caracoles is a small cove in a larger bay. We dropped TK in 55'
close to shore in a very steeply shelving bottom. There are two shore
lines. It would take an impossible wind to dislodge that bully of an anchor
pulling up hill. (The shore lines are to the west.) I will mention again
the shore lines themselves. We bought three in Barcelona from a fisherman's
supply. They are 18mm X 100 meters, roughly 3/4" X 320', polypropylene
lines so they float staying out of the kelp. We have thimbles spliced into
each end for coupling them together or going 'end to end' in case of chafe.
On the shore side we have a large stainless shackle. Through the shackle
pin there is one end of a 30' X 5/16" stainless steel cable AND a large snap
shackle. The loose end of the cable goes around a tree or rock returning to
the snap shackle. Today we took lines ashore at low tide meaning we had to
climb very slippery rocks to get the lines ashore. One is around a dead
tree and the other around a large rock. Here is the good news: no matter
what the tide, by using the snap shackle to release the cable end
you-know-who doesn't have to go ashore again. Pretty cool.
We'll take the time to mention again the Forum Questions on VofE. This is
where people from everywhere write in with legitimate questions asking about
whatever. We reply right away as best we can and in some detail. You may
find questions you may have already answered on the Forum reply or if not
send them in yourself. For every question asked I'm sure there many who
appreciate the information. We can tell from the addresses there is a HUGE
information thirst from the UK. Apparently long distance powerboat
information is thin in their publications.
Another oldie, and free for the asking, is the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally DVD.
The NAR is where Nordhavn sponsored the first ever transatlantic crossing by
a group of private powerboats. There were 18 participating boats. Fifteen
were Nordhavns and three were fro other manufacturers. This is a feel-good
boating adventure put together by Bruce Kessler (Bruce and Joan were the
first American powerboat circumnavigators). Bruce said "even Spielberg
couldn't make a movie of this" meaning the video contributions from a number
of NAR participants. Bruce and his buddy Jo did a GREAT job. You'll see
the NAR video on the nordhavn.com website. We watched our copy last night
laughing at the antics. It seems so long ago but again it seems like last
So there you have it. Its time for nap chores then an afternoon hike
(probably in the rain.) Ciao.
February 19, 2007
Position: S55 03.47 W69 50.23 Bahia de Pescadores (Fisherman's Bay) (still) temps 48 degrees
pp 518 TdeF guide 10.46
Well, mi amigos, it was fire or ice pictures. The Egret crew has been
sitting for two days in the rain so fire is more important than ice at this
point however, ice is coming up. The picture is of our lovely Dickinson
Antarctic heater. We installed this hot baby in Turkey. The stainless
steel work was done by the Turkish craftsmen to our design. We have a ten
gallon gravity feed tank next to the flybridge steps also made by the Turks.
The type A fuel hose (600 degree rated) is fed down through the stack trunk
and exits just at the right spot to feed the heater. We choose gravity feed
just like Egret's fuel tanks. Gravity NEVER fails!!!! The heater softly
moans day and night keeping Egret toasty inside. When it is windy, except
form ahead, we turn on the little fan under the heater to keep from getting
any back draft. It is cooler down below but blankets make up the
difference. When winter comes we may have to use Egret's fans to move the
warm air below. By adding some shale rocks as a heat sink to cover the
heater surface we have nearly doubled the heat using an infared temp gun to
make the call. The heater burns a little over a gallon of diesel a day on
the low setting. We have a fuel fill hose for this purpose manifolded off
the circulation pump and filter. We fill a 5 gallon plastic tank to fill
the heater day tank. Probably more than you wanted to know about a heater
but there it is. It makes us happy and that's the name of the game.
In the two days of rain we went from 9 waterfalls to 35. Beautiful. We are
close to a resolution for a watermaker fix but are still one e-mail away.
To experiment at this late stage may damage the membranes and is not worth
the chance. We can wait. We still have half water and a beautiful
waterfall nearby so water immediately is not an issue.
Before the rain we took what is probably the Egret crew's best hike EVER.
We landed the dink at the end of the bay near the grande (big) waterfall.
We were ready with our fleece lined waterproof pants, boots with rubber
bottoms and leather uppers, long sleeve tee shirts, a foul weather jacket
and a hat. The good looking half of the Egret crew was smart enough to wear
gloves. Up we went through the heavy brush using streams at times for a
trail then fording around the waterfalls or pools. This went on for QUITE a
while until we came to clear territory. Geesh. Pant. Ultimately we made
it high enough to find the twin lakes fed by melting snow and rain. VERY
high up. Pant again. We named these twin lakes never seen by human eyes,
described in the TdelF guide, after our late dog and cat. Jake and Dusty.
The ground is soft with all types of growth. We don't know how to describe
it. It is so lush and so watered this plant, moss type stuff in dozens of
varietys grows over everything. There can be a bare rock with like a
person's head growing on it. This is something we have never seen. You can
only experience it. The water is so clear and cold it is hard to drink. It
is so pure it has no taste. Someone should bottle this. Do you think
anyone would PAY for bottled water?
We struck out in the crab department. However there is always hope. We
re-dropped the trap this afternoon in deeper water so we'll see.
A crewed charter sailboat arrived late this afternoon and is anchored near
the big waterfall. They are probably here to discover our twin lake find
sooo, its time to move. If the wind isn't too bad we'll travel to a yet to
be determined little hidey hole researched by my sweetie. We'll move a
little further east toward Puerto Williams, Chile. We are meeting some
Ushuaia, Arg locals around the first of March so need to be working that
way. We would hate to have to run more than 20 miles in a day. Ho hum.
Life is good for the Egret crew. Ciao.
February 15, 2007
Position: S55 03.47 W69 50.23 Bahia de los Pescadores (Fisherman's Bay)
pp 518 TdeF guide 10.46
Well, mi amigos, we needed to move. There is serious weather coming tonight
at midnight PLUS we needed to try the watermaker and see if the hose bypass
cure worked in something other than glacier water with its 'glacier flour'
to clog the filters. We chose Fisherman's Bay just 10 miles west from
Egret's last anchorage. The commercial crabbing (fishing) season is
closed. There are rings put into the high cliffs where the fishermen tie at
night. There are some huts along the far beach where they gather around
fires to yup it up after pulling their traps. The bay is round protected by
a peninsula. FB is the W arm of a two pronged fjord north into Isla Gordon.
Egret is tucked up under the trees just 25' from shore in 25' of water on
the west side of the bay (Tonight's weather is coming from the west). We
have two lines ashore. One of the tricks to picking a spot, after guidance
from the guide, is to pick an anchorage where the trees are random height.
If they are wind shaped that tells one story. If there are NO trees and
should be there is a BIGGER story.
A phenomenon of this area are williwaws. This is where the prevailing wind
stacks up cold air against a mountain. On the lee side the relative warm
air rises stacking the cold air (that wants to fall). When the cold air
overcomes the warm air there is a 8-10 second violent blast of cold air down
the mountainside. Williwaws. They will rock your little fiberglass
world...big time. Sailboats under sail in light winds with all their sails
up that are hit by a williwaw sometimes disappear in an explosion of white
water and foam (knocked flat-sails in the water). If they are lucky they
right later with their rig and sails in tact. The trick is to choose your
anchorage carefully. The TdeF guide explains every anchorage in detail
right down to how many lines to take ashore.
Today's picture was prompted by my ex-fishing buddy who was concerned about
giardia (an intestinal problem caused by critters offings). We sent the
picture of Egret filling her water tank to show we only use snow fed
waterfalls, not glacier water, and with no chance for beavers or other
critters to spoil the water. On these islands there are NO critters. Only
on Tierra del Fuego or low military settlements are there beaver, cattle,
sheep, etc. In the past sailboaters have taken TdeF stream water and gotten
sick. My buddy and his sweetie are at the Miami Boat Show looking over
their new lifestyle to be. (Nordhavn 47) Two years from this show they
will order their little white fiberglass ship to carry them where ever in
the world they wish to go. This is one doctor who won't die from stress at
55. We'll fish together again someday. It won't be south Florida. Who
knows where? It doesn't matter. We will both be happy.
So there you have it. Another miniature Egret adventure. Did we tell you
there were only 9 waterfalls in front of Egret instead of the 22 in the last
anchorage? Life is good for the Egret crew. The next two pictures will be
fire and ice. Or will it be ice then fire? We'll see.
February 13, 2007
Position: S55 04.35 W69 33.40 Caleta del Basque
Caleta del Bosque inside Estero Fouque
(Bosque Cove, Funky Bay) PP 514 Patagonia & Tierra Del Fuego Nautical
Guide 10.39 (You should have this guide. We will be using it and
referencing pages and pictures for the next year. Available at Bluewater
Books and Charts in Ft. Lauderdale and others.)
The picture is of today's crab, 1st pull, still in the trap, crab #5. The
trap is homemade as they all are out of re-bar and heavy fish netting draped
over the frame. It is baited with dinner scraps and crushed mussels. It
must be dropped in 60 plus feet of water. Pulling that hummer straight up
60+ feet in the dink is an upper body work out for sure. Tonight it is
dinner with some Brits and an Aussie on the Brit boat. Egret's donation is
a platter of boiled crab legs, glacier ice for cocktails and a fresh apple
pie. It's a social whirl down here.
Funky Bay is a 10-mile deep fjord running south through a large island, Isle
Hoste. Our anchorage is just one mile in tucked under the trees on the west
side and two lines ashore. The wind is howling out in the E/W channel one
mile north. We are sitting in the calm. The other day we hiked for a
couple of miles up the low mountains and south finding another bay about a
mile south. Beautiful. Yesterday we took the Brits and cruised the fjord
to the south. First stop was a blue glacier coming down to the water. We
were able to get within 15' before we touched bottom. We then turned the
boat in the no wind situation laying in front of the glacier for pictures.
We won't even try to describe it except to say you should be here to see the
blues and beauty of the ice. We picked up lots of bergy bits for cocktail
ice. It has been so warm they don't last more than a couple of days even
though they are compressed and very dense.
The second stop was under a waterfall where we laid next to shore held in
place by a bow line then filled Egret's water tank with icy clear water, not
glacier water. Glacier water is full of sand that is called glacier flour.
Our buddy climbed next to the waterfall attaching the funnel connected to
Egret's 75' water hose to a branch with a short line. Hands off fill up.
Egret's watermaker is not doing its best. We are near to a solution waiting
for a return e-mail from the manufacturer. I believe by switching hoses and
bypassing the malfunctioning valve we can make water again. We'll see but
its nice to have a ready supply of pure water when we need it.
After watering it was lunch in front of the glacier and a hike afterward.
The glacier has receded about 2 miles leaving a raw valley in between. The
stream running down from the glacier is slowly cutting its way through the
rubble. There were two waterfalls coming from under the glacier up high
falling a couple hundred feet carving a path under the glacier below. The
lower glacier in turn had a stream running from underneath creating the
stream to the fjord. The south end of the fjord is really special. After
today's boat exterior cleanup and afternoon hike we'll be ready to leave in
the morning moving down the fjord to re-anchor and explore that area more.
Within twenty miles of here there are dozens of glaciers and beautiful
anchorages. There are anchorages most every 5-6 miles from Ushuaia all the
way to Puerto Montt, 1100 miles north in the Chilean Canals. Roughly half
way up there is an offshore passage, an overnighter, that has to be timed
with weather and the tides. It is a difficult passage. Sooo, we won't
cruise north of that area this year. There are so many places to see
between here and there, we'll take it easy. Next year on the way north
we'll make that passage just once then cruise the upper area. So there you
Mary and I will miss the Miami Boat Show but will have to suffer down here.
We ordered Egret 7 years ago this week at the Miami show taking delivery one
year and seven months later. From taking delivery, to bouncing off docks
and going aground, to two ocean crossings, a Med cruise and Cape Horn in 5
1/2 years. Pretty amazing. Pretty amazing boat. We hope you make the show
and fuel your dreams as we did.
February 7, 2007
Position: S54 56.41 W69 09.24 (Caleta Olla) pp 507 TdelF guide
Well, mi amigos, Egret has pounded her way west the past two days from
Puerto Williams. Puerto Williams is a Chilean Naval base supporting several
ships and is a port of entry. There is also a small civilian community
supporting the Navy personnel and a few hikers who make their way from
Ushuaia by water taxi. The main yachtie interest is the local yacht club.
The 'yacht club' is a sunken WWII ammunition ship Micalvi built in 1925 and
now comfortably resting on the bottom of the tidal creek with a slight list
to port. The upper wheelhouse and lower deck is full of comfortable
couches, a few chairs and lots of standing room. Every inch of the walls
has memorabilia from all over the world. Burgees, inscribed foulies,
shirts, pictures n' flags cover everything. Egret's donation is an 8X10
picture of Egret taken in Ushuaia stapled to the wall in a free space. The
inscription reads: M/Y Egret 06-07 USA. Because you are in a poor country
don't think for a minute they haven't embraced capitalism. 4 buck
beers!!!!! However, you are very privileged to be here so its OK. There
aren't many places in the world where every cruiser, not adventure
charterer, has shaken so much salt in order to get there. They all paid a
lot more than 4 buck beers.
We had great conversations with Italian and Swiss cruisers. One American
cruiser on a small 60s motor sailer had his crew leave the boat. In Ushuaia
we met a French woman looking for a ride. We sent her over and voila! There
she was in the Micalvi with the Americano. Cool. He is completing a
circumnavigation and on his way back to Newport Beach. Now he wants to go
to Antarctica. We really hope he thinks hard about that one.
With weather coming Egret left PW the next morning at the first hint of
wind. We were up and gone in 30 minutes. Fortunately we were the outside
boat of a three boat raft up. (There were 2 three-boat raft ups and one
four-boat on the port side of the Micalvi. On the other side there were six
other boats.) When we return in a few weeks to check out we will take
pictures and will post one. Forty five minutes after we got up the wind was
howling and pinning all the boats to each other. We were lucky.
Yesterday Egret bashed her way to Puerto Navarino, Chile before saying
enough was enough. It was too far to reach Calleta Olla where Egret is now
anchored. There is space in CO for 5-6 boats with lines ashore but in this
wind there is only one place to anchor alone. We now have that space.
Yesterday we couldn't take that chance arriving after dark. Puerto Navarino
has a single Chilean Armada house and three smaller homes nearby owned by
fishermen. (Today's picture of the farmhouse is complete with cows in the
Today was a repeat with water over the boat in the 25-45 knot blasts between
the mountains on both sides and current driven tight waves. We even had
aquarium glass a few times. There was also continual rain while working our
way west on the Beagle. We finally dropped TK in 55' and have 275' of chain
out in Calleta Olla. He is dug in well. It is raining off and on in
between light snow showers. The mountains that had lost a lot of snow over
the past months are now all white. Beautiful. We are running the bus
heater while underway and have the Dickinson diesel heater on while on
anchor. The boat is very comfortable.
The borrowed crab trap went over for the first time baited with a can of
tuna and last night's steak bones and scrap. We were warned not to leave it
down for more than three hours because you won't be able to lift it. This
one will be down all night but we have it deployed over the bow with an
extra long line. With the windlass doing the work in the morning we'll haul
it up and see. The crabs are called centillio & look like Alaska king
crabs. Can't wait. Tomorrow we'll catch up with some Brit buddies and
deliver our care package of fresh fruit and veggies.
The Miami Boat Show starts in a week or so. It will be without the Egret
crew for the first time since 1969 either by vocation or interest. Now
would be a great time to either put down a deposit and join this life
enriching lifestyle or stoke the fires for YOUR future. It is a win-win
deal. With most things in life, if it seems too good to be true, it usually
is. But this is a rare exception. Let us put things in perspective. You
are somewhere reading this drivel in a dirt dwelling or worse, at work.
Mary is watching a movie after our dinner of thick Argentine pork chops,
mashed potatos, veggies & some local beer. I am looking out the pilothouse
windows at two sailboat buddies from Mar del Plata (German and Belgian)
rafted next to each other with lines ashore and a third boat (French), also
with two lines ashore. The mountains across the way have fresh snow to the
tree line. Calleta Olla is a small cove protected by a peninsula running
N/S. Trees give protection from the souwesterlies (S&W). There are high
tree covered cliffs out the starboard windows (to the north). There are two
glaciers within hiking distance. The bottom is covered with juicy crabs.
Today we got a tip from a Kiwi boat on how to jig the local cod type fish in
deep water. Think about it.
February 5, 2007
Position: Ushuaia harbor M Jo's weather 60 degrees
Well, mi amigos, Master Angler Steve Lawrence leaves today after joining
Egret Sept 23d in Grand Canaria, Canary Islands. Steve's pin-up poster
photo is MA Steve with Cabo de Hornos (Cape Horn) in the background. Steve
will travel a bit in Argentina perhaps even getting a 'pier jump' (a late
minute discounted rate) on an Antarctic cruise. MA Steve, Master Angler
because he reeled in so many fish on the crossing from the Canaries to
Brazil, has a lot of irons in the fire including building a beautiful log
cabin on a lake in Minn eee soooo ta on recently purchased property. Steve
is also looking for a boating lady to share time with. If any eligible
ladies will send a picture of their boat to MA Steve Lawrence, Deer River,
Minn eee soooo ta, 56636, USA, he would appreciate it. MA Steve did a great
job aboard Egret. He has become a good friend. Mary and I will miss him.
The reduced Egret crew hopes to leave Ushuaia today after picking up a few
last minute parts and a fresh fruit and veggie care package for friends
already enjoying the Chilean Canals. Also, local American ex-pat Ken Murray
has offered a crab trap. The trick is to drop the trap in 60 feet of water
or more with crushed mussels in the bottom for bait. Can't wait on that.
We plan to return to Ushuaia early March before heading out for a longer
Egret is floating in the rare lack of wind being turned by the tide.
Directly in front of the bow is the Super Mega Yacht, Octopus. It is bigger
than some cruise ships. The crew appears to be ants scurrying around the
five decks up and who knows how many down. Oh, yes, there is a helicopter
on the bow AND and aft deck. Like our little ship they are a dry stack
boat. Instead of a single dry stack as Egret they have EIGHT, four per side
in a wing like deal on top. In the big white balls department
(communication) they have seven for whatever reason. However, in the
important department they only have three radars. Gee, our little boat has
We feel guilty in sorts for not continuing on Egret's published itinerary
culminating in a New Zealand arrival, Dec 07. A number of friends have
e-mailed applauding our decision to stay in the high latitudes for the
reasons we gave. It is what it is. We are comfortable with our decision.
With upcoming months VofE's cruising adventures, sloooooow paced adventures
we will try as always to give you the best description as possible for you
to feel you are aboard Egret as well, to see what we are seeing, do what we
are doing to encourage you to follow as well when it is your time. Pictures
will help this quite a lot as you have seen. In the future the pace will
pick up. We are planing some new cruising adventures we will share in time.
Charging across oceans is a small but necessary part of every long distance
cruiser's itinerary. Egret has a lot of charging planned in the future.
UPDATED NEWS: Life is going to be good for some other crews this spring.
Milt and Judy Baker's Med Bound 2007 has been gathering momentum with a
number of participants. There are now 10 boats signed up with five making
the complete crossing. A new Nordhavn 55, Moana Kuewa, has just bashed her
way through the 'Christmas winds' after exiting the Panama Canal JUST to
join the rally. Moana Kuewa and Salty Dawg will be the first Nordhavn 55s
to cross the Atlantic. Although Med Bound 2007 welcomes all brands of
ocean-crossing powerboats, all 10 participants at Nordhavns--that certainly
says something about who's crossing oceans in powerboats!
Northern Lights/Lugger is sending Bob Senter, a trainer in engines and
generators, to Ft Lauderdale prior to departure. Lugger Bob also did the
seminars for the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally and was excellent. Nordhavn is
sending registration staff to Bahia Mar to help this private group of
adventurers taking some pressure off Milt and Judy. This is a very
worthwhile venture/adventure. Mediterranean cruising is a life- changing
experience and a great way to start your long distance cruising career as
did a number of others on the NAR. The ocean crossing is a simple
connect-the-dots itinerary. OMNI Bob will be doing the weather forecasting.
May is the perfect month. Lifelong friendships will be made. There is
still time to ready your Nordhavn for the crossing. Give
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MedBound2007/ a good review. Be part of the
FIRST private motorboat ocean rally. Sooner is better than later.
February 1, 2007
Position: S54 48.80 W68 18.36 Ushuaia harbor, on anchor. 61 degrees F.
Well, mi amigos, big day today. First, the picture is of of Ushuaia,
Argentina seen from Egret's anchorage. The scuttled tug in the foreground
is a sad tale. We don't know the dates or specifics but the story goes the
tug went to Antarctica to rescue a cruise ship in trouble. In horrific
weather the tug tried its best but in the end failed. All three hundred
aboard the cruise ship didn't make it. The tug limped back into Ushuaia and
sank where she rests from her rescue effort battering. Another testament to
the weather down here when all doesn't go well. Cruise ships and adventure
charter sailboats all sail on a schedule with flexibility on both ends of a
few days but not enough. Schedules create problems and weather compromise.
On a lesser scale this is true everywhere. There is a lesson to be learned
here for all cruisers, no matter where the location.
On a happier note you can see the town of Ushuaia with the Cordillera Darwin
(Darwin Mountain Range) in the background, the tree line down to the town of
35,000. Best described as a typical ski resort with main street shops,
restaurants and supportive businesses on the side streets and parallel
streets. Ushuaia serves the ski season in the winter (northern hemisphere
summer) and the adventure cruise ship and adventure charter sailboats in the
austral summer. The local restaurants' two specialties are Fueguan lamb
butterflied and roasted over wood fires and centeillo (king crab). The
Argentine government has made Ushuaia a duty free port to encourage fellow
Argentinians to vacation here and they do. People from all over the world
come here for the Antarctic cruises. We 'locals' avoid main street during
most of the business hour days with cruise ships in town. We soon learn
when and where to eat or shop.
Today has been spent boat bound on anchor watch with anticipated 50-70 knot
winds. Fortunately we haven't had winds over 45 knots. No biggie. Egret
buried TK twice with 250' of chain out (22' of water) and double snubbers.
We worked on the watermaker today of course breaking a plastic pipe nipple
we don't have but do have in bronze if we can't find one ashore. Hopefully
back together all will be well. Tomorrow's trip ashore in the rubber dinghy
will be like Cape Horn in a Sou'wester. Great.
Mary and Master Angler Steve are busy with Indiana Jones while the wind
howls. Indigo, a 105' mega anchored close to Egret is skating around like
Peggy Flemming in the wind. When they took on fuel today to meet their
SCHEDULE it took a small tug to assist with fueling in the wind. Ho hum.
Egret's next fueling will be on OUR schedule, in calm weather and will last
until next spring.
Speaking of next spring. Today we made the decision to winter over in the
DEEP south cruising the Chilean Canals and bouncing back to Ushuaia for
provisions from time to time. New Zealand will still be there. We are
working on plans for next austral summer before leaving on Egret's
northbound then westbound route to New Zealand. We have a saying in
fishing: You don't leave fish to find fish. We simply can't leave this
last unspoiled cruising area in the world without spending time here. We
can't just 'pop' back in like so many destinations around the world.
Getting here is too difficult. For the curious or those interested in
coming here themselves we would NOT repeat Egret's route south down the
eastern South American coast. A much easier and faster route is make your
way to the Galapagos, cruise south, west of the coastal Humboldt Current,
turn left at Valparaiso or Valvdivia, Chile then south through the Chilean
Canals. Much faster, much safer. If Egret ever returns in the future this
will be her route.
So there you have it mi amigos. All cruisers' plans are written in sand at
low tide. We now plan to arrive New Zealand December, 08 instead of 07. We
will keep writing about Egret's adventures while cruising this beautiful
area. After the past few months we need a break from running hard. We
can't think of a better place to relax and enjoy unspoiled nature. Wish us
the best as we wish you the best. We hope you all are working on your
'little white ship' plans. It will change your lives as it has ours.