"Egret" N4674 - Scott and Mary Flanders
Ed. note: On February 10, 2011, Scott and Mary Flanders, on board their Nordhavn 46, Egret, arrived in the Canary Islands. In doing so, Egret became the eighth Nordhavn to circumnavigate the globe. It had been four years, five months since the couple departed Gran Canaria, intent on seeing as much of the earth as possible, although not necessarily with an end goal to circle the globe. Voyage of Egret documents the Flanders’ entire trip, an endless adventure that has put them in touch with the most fabulous places and interesting people. Much route planning and forecasting was required in order to get to some of their ports of call. But the days of detailed planning are over…for now. “Egret” is now back in Fort Lauderdale, the place the couple called home for so many years, and, ironically, the starting point of their world wide cruising escapade that began with the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally in 2004. They currently travel hither and yon, sometimes by boat, sometimes not. Here, the latest update from the Flanders as they keep us continually apprised.
July 31, 2007
Location: AFASyN Yacht Club dock, Ushuaia, Argentina
Sunday, 7-29, Ushuaia, on the dock. BIG wind from the north. As normal
routine, Egret's bow and forward spring lines are doubled holding her bow
into the usual westerlies. We have now tripled the aft stern line and
doubled the aft spring line as a precaution if the north wind swings to the
east with the same velocity. Egret has 8 fenders deployed. In the largest
gusts the fenders are getting squeezed big time. We'll see.
Since typing the above we came within a foot of near theatrics but in the
end all was well. Now the moon is waning so all is even better. In new
news the #%$^*&@ wing is out and in the shop. In a few days YT will visit
and make a decision what parts to order. The little Yanmar is a simple
engine so its no big deal.
There is a new batch of pictures on the VofE - Pictures site. There is an
accompanying Forum reply answering a readers photography questons. The CDs
sent from Argentina arrived before the Chilean post. That's all the recent
Egret news. Enjoy the Med flashback.
Egret Med Flashback (EMF) Egret departed Barcelona, Spain the first week of
May, 2005, the day after receiving her air freight shipment of paravanes
from PAE (Nordhavn folks). The paravanes were to be installed the
following winter in Marmaris, Turkey. Bill and Arline Smith of N62 Autumn
Wind volunteered to transport the two long paravane poles to Turkey. Egret
steamed the short distance SW down the Spanish coast to Stiges where we met
Bill and Arline in their small winter harbor. We transfered the poles from
Egret and lashed them on top of AW's pilot house. After visiting with the
Smith's for a couple of days Egret left with a good weather forecast for the
Gulf du Lyon (France) on the two day journey NE to Calvi, Corsica. Corsica
is one of many Mediterranean island jewels. Corsica is located south of
mainland France, north of Sardinia, west of Italy.
Calvi is located on the NW tip of French owned Corsica. Calvi at the top
and Bonifacio at the bottom of the island are the two major fortress cities.
By this time in Egret's Med cruise we were well familiar with spotting
towers dotting the Spanish coast, castles and crumbled fortresses. Inland
touring Spain and France during the winter we had seen a few major fortress
towns as well. Calvi was however, the first major harbor citadel we had
seen. The citadel appeared out of the breaking daylight mist looking as she
had centuries before. Mean and ominous for those who had unkind intentions.
Egret dropped anchor just after daylight off the beach May 12th, 2005. It
was very early season with NO other boats on anchor and the seasonal
moorings had yet to be tethered to their holdings. Off we went exploring
the city and citadel piling up the kilometers on the Teva's (sandals).
Three days later in the morning a familiar boat anchored in front of Egret.
It was one of those little white fiberglass long distance jobs. Picture 1.
Without coordinating our itineraries the Stricklands (Scott & Teri) on N47,
Strickly for Fun (NAR buddies), had left Barcelona after Egret and made the
two day trip to Calvi as well. (They arrived Barcelona after Egret had
left) Great minds think alike. Social whirl it was.
Two days later we took the narrow gauge railroad to the city of Ajaccio
where we saw the sights before taking the train back to Calvi. It was quite
a trip down the mountain valleys. There are still tiny inhabited villages
stuck high up on the face of the mountains as they have been for hundreds of
years. At about half way we side tracked to let another train pass. We
stopped at a beautiful, picturesque little train station surrounded by trees
with flowers like upside down trumpets. The railroad bed was a trip in
itself. The driver, yes we mean driver, steered and braked the bucking
train in places. It was like driving on a train after an earthquake.
Perhaps during an earthquake. (4-6' confused seas off the bow). We were
rockin and rollin. You get the picture. In due time we returned to Calvi
shaken and stirred.
Calvi has a French Foreign Legion post. The Legionnaires were kept busy
clearing a large wooden sailboat that had dragged anchor and ended her life
on the jettys protecting the marina. Typical of government projects there
were ten guys supervising on the jettys and two low rankers in the cold
water. Each day they struggled to cut another piece away and drag it onto
the jettys to be hauled away. At the same time Corsican fire fighting
aircraft were practicing scooping water from the bay and dropping it over
water to practice for the coming summer's fires. These aircraft had a scoop
built into the bottom of the plane calling for precision flying. Pretty
Each time we arrive at a destination like Corsica the wheels start turning,
daydreams if you will. Wouldn't it be great to take the early season month
of May and the late season month of October, sans crowds, and rental car or
motorcycle tour little jewels like Corsica, Sardinia and so forth? During a
driving trip on the next island south, Sardinia, I told Mary I would like to
drive EVERY road in the island. With our planned (and executed) two winter,
three cruising season plans of cruising the Med we have to pick and choose.
We feel we got the flavor of all western Med rim countries including Turkey
(minus Croatia). In Egret's agenda we feel it is a big world with a lot to
see. Other NAR buddies on N46 Satchmo are going to do just that EVERYWHERE
in the Med (see all they can). If it takes 10 years, so be it. Neither
plan is right or wrong, better or worse. Whatever makes you happy is the
Egret departed Calvi with northerly swells moving into the anchorage and
sailed south along the west coast of Corsica. It was a bit bouncy
(following - no biggie), and too rough to visit the mostly unprotected bays
along the way south. We over nighted in Ajaccio, terrible anchorage, then
sailed for Bonifacio. The entrance to Bonifacio is stunning with the white
sculptured islets and cliffs at the entrance. Egret's electronic charting
at this point in time, pre C-Map, was marginal at best. It took forever for
the harbor entrance to open to view. The patience clutch was slipping but
FINALLY there it was and quite obvious. Patience pays. Early season is a
joy, as this time, high season (July/August) is a nightmare. July/August
there are literally floating traffic cops at the harbor entrance directing
boat traffic. Egret arrived before the moorings were set in the second
little 'notch in the rocks' on the west side across from the citadel. This
little notch is exactly where Homer described Odysseus anchoring then
escaping as the rest of his fleet was destroyed by strange monsters further
up the deep water natural harbor. For the first time Egret deployed her
lines ashore purchased in Barcelona the previous winter anticipating the
trip to the Deep South. The notch acted as a wind funnel late afternoons.
Later we loaned a struggling French couple in a sailboat an anchor to help
hold them in place. Picture 2, taken from the entrance road up to the
citadel, of Odysseus's and Egret's anchorage in the 'notch in the rocks'.
What a treat Bonifacio was. We explored every narrow street then took all
the inland trails we could find. Hiking up to the citadel we pitied any who
were told in the past it was their 'duty' to force their way inside.
Corsica is so different from Spain and France. We couldn't get enough.
However, the Madelena's were calling. (A Bahamian type island group (low
islands, clear water and white sand bottoms) just north of and owned by
Sardinia/Italy) Just eight miles south. But that's another story.
Stricklands moved ahead of Egret. We met later in Rome early July with
other NAR cruisers. But that's another story...
Med cruising builds on itself taken in the right seasons, moving minimizing
weather and crowds. We wrote a short Mediterranean Cruising itinerary
coming out soon in Circumnavigator Magazine. Circumnavigator is an in house
Nordhavn publication available on the www.nordhavn.com website. The
cruising itinerary is a worthwhile article to store in your 'someday when
its My Time' file.
We saved ALL our cruising magazines from 1994 until after we were in the
Med. You think you'll remember the details but in time they all blur
together. During the winter in Turkey we turned the hundreds of pounds of
magazines into files discarding the balance. The files are geographic, food
and medicine, technical, weather and interesting. Much of what we have
learned and early guiding came from these articles. These days we still
reread the articles from time to time on rainy days however we listen to
cruising tales from other cruisers as well. Having done this a bit, in a
nano second you can sort useful information from fiction from cruisers. As
much as anything we are now guided by others who have cruised along Egret's
intended future routes.
Along these same lines we hope you serious cruisers of the future keep VofE
techno goodies (as we describe them) in an electronic techno file or however
you feel is best. We make an effort to describe different issues clearly
and accurately. We learned much of this information after it was Our Time.
We had to learn the hard and sometimes costly way. Bottom line: He who
helps themselves helps themselves.
In the two Correos delivery competition (Post Office - Chile/Argentina),
Argentina won. We mailed picture CD's from both. The bottom line is there
are now a new round of Deep South pictures on the pictures section of the
VofE website. We hope you enjoy them.
So there you have it. Another inside glimpse of Med cruising, a little
encouragement to organize yourself for the future and a bit of Ushuaia's
July 24, 2007
Position: AFASyN Yacht Club dock, Ushuaia, Argentina
Well, mi amigos, the Ushuaia winter scene is moving along. The French
family we first met in Mar del Plata and now wintering in Ushuaia are coming
over tonight for dinner. All is well with the Egret crew.
Keeping with our promised Mediterranean flashbacks, let's move back in time
to September 6th, 2005. Egret is moving toward her winter port of Marmaris,
Turkey. We have been working our way down the chain of the southeastern
Greek Aegean islands. Egret was steaming toward Rhodes, her last port and
island before Marmaris. It was getting late so we looked for an alternative
anchorage rather than enter the Rhodes anchorages on the SW corner.
Electronic charting is fairly good in the Med, particularly in the larger
harbors where commercial boats frequent. We could have entered the Rhodes
anchorage in the dark using a combination of electronic charting, radar and
depth finder however that is not our preference. Off Rhodes NW coast is the
small island, about 8 miles long by 3 miles wide, of Kahlki. We hadn't read
about Kahlki or considered stopping before but the Heikell Guide gave us the
lowdown. Most importantly it had a small protected harbor and good holding.
(Winds in the Aegean come from the north so almost every protected anchorage
is on the island's south side) So Kahlki it was.
At first impression Kahlki is a harsh, sun bleached rock not worth visiting.
As you close on the island you see centuries of terracing. Moving around
the island toward the small harbor there are remains of a large city and
castle. Entering the harbor in fading light we saw a two row deep group of
typical Greek homes whitewashed white with blue shutters in a semi-circle
around the harbor. The only thing green on the entire island was in this
harbor. In reading the guide, Kahlki used to have a population of 90,000
engaged in farming but most importantly, commerce. This was a major trading
stop as the small sister of Rhodes (Rhodes is one of the largest Greek
islands). On Egret's visit there were 250 residents in summer and 120 in
winter. In a village that small EVERY boat's arrival is a big deal. Egret
being quite different as a powerboat drew a lot of attention. We typically
eat out lunch or dinner most days ashore when visiting small villages. This
opens a lot of doors. It doesn't take long before everyone knows who you
are and from what boat. Between the villagers and the other cruisers, the
social whirl starts.
The first full day ashore we tried to rent a scooter to explore the island.
They don't have scooters (like most other islands). "They make to much
noise". Kahlki has A road. Yup, A road. A road to the monastery at the
other end of the island. Leaving town the road is paved for a bit. At the
end of the paving is a marble plaque scribed in Greek and English naming
their highway "Tarpon Springs Boulevard". There are still a few sponge
divers on the island. Quite a number immigrated to Tarpon Springs, Florida.
The Fla group have sent money back to their home. The money was used to
pave the highway. (Highway in small Greek islands means wider than a donkey
path, which is in turn wider than a goat path) Outside of town the road is
The Egret crew's uniform in summer Med cruising, except in cities, is tee
shirts, shorts, Teva sandals and a baseball cap.
Teva's are the best invention since the wheel and arch however they
aren't-multi mile hiking footwear. So, what did the Egret crew do? Hike to
the monastery that was described with a wave of the hand as 'up there'. Off
we went with a small bottle of water. We can STILL feel the pain. First
you climb WAY up taking the high ridges toward the other end of the
mountainous island. Next the monastery is ALWAYS around the next corner.
Nope, again. After a while it became laughable but we became more
determined to see this through. After all we had cruised around the island
and it wasn't that big. Yeah, right. FINALLY we saw that turkey at the end
of a very long straightaway. FINALLY we arrived. It was closed. This
means the little commissary mentioned in the guide was closed. That meant
no more water, snacko's and such. They had a small guard puppy. We eyed
its water bowl. A few pictures later off we went BACK. Geesh. It was like
Lawrence of Arabia after crossing the desert. Mirages of Mythos (beer).
Ice cold Mythos.
Obviously we made it. The staged picture of My Sweetie (MS) (or was it
staged) was taken at the FIRST taberna (restaurante', restaurant, etc.) on
the edge of town. We sat for a while. Notice the grapevines overhead
giving the shade. Ho hum, more grapevines.
The picture of MS was taken on Sept 7th. The picture of the anchorage was
taken on Sept 13th. This is typical of The Life. We stopped for an
overnight anchorage before pushing on to Rhodes. You get the picture.
After anchoring in Rhodes we rented a car for three days. After two days we
returned the keys with no refund happy to leave the commercialism and hordes
of people. After two months of absolutely one of the highlights of our Med
cruise to that point, the peaceful and sparse Aegean Greek islands, we
didn't need the aggravation.
This is just the first of magical places we'll give you a brief introduction
to. Yes, we know how painful this has to be for you strapped to jobs, dirt
dwelling and so forth. When it's Your Time think of those ice cold Mythos
we enjoyed after the long dry spell. The Mythos that washed away the dust
and miles. Your Mythos will be your first voyage. Ciao.
July 23, 2007
Position: S54 48.41 W68 18.35 AFASyN Yacht Club dock, Ushuaia
Well, mi amigos, Egret is back in her winter home of Ushuaia. We have been
catching up with tings and visiting the winter-over cruisers. We took a
local family of five out to the sea lion island just off Ushuaia then over
to another island for a picnic. The family is part of the Estancia
Harberton clan and direct descendent's of the original British missionary
settling in this area. It was a great day letting kids be kids, climbing
all over the outside of the boat and so forth. We took 'Titanic shots of
all of them on Egret's bow and family shots, giving the family a picture CD
of those and sea lion pictures the next day. We're going to torture you
with sea lion pictures INCLUDING our picture critic friend back in Fla.
This VofE AND the next will have these little critters, actually big, FAT
critters. When you are down wind from this group their smell will rock your
Today was a hike up to the ski lift AND back down. Geesh. The last time we
took a taxi up and walked down we were proud of ourselves. Six weeks hiking
up and down high hills in snow during the Chilean Channel glacier loop gave
us Seabiscuit legs. No problema. We haven't been near skiing for years.
Watching the kids on snowboards and the wee ones on their inventive plastic
sleds was fun. We had to settle for eating exercises. (elbow bends) Jamon
y queso en pan negra tostado. Con te'. (Toasted ham and cheese on dark
bread with a pot of tea) Of course we couldn't get past the HUGE piece of
apple pie with cream. Yup, we rolled part way back.
A couple days later. Ya know, we changed our minds. Instead of additional
sea lion pictures and Ushuaia happenings we're going to do something
different. Egret is ensconced in her winter routine here in Ushuaia. The
happenings are interesting to us but perhaps a bit repetitious for you.
This morning, boat bound in the rain, YT was in the pilothouse putzing with
old pictures trying to move them from one computer to another. As you know
we are not exactly doctoral nominees in the computer department however we
did manage to find a way to use a memory stick to move our first picture.
So, here is the Bottom Line. It is Egret's goal in writing to motivate and
inspire readers to join all we long distance cruisers in whatever part of
the world you wish to cruise. You have now read quite a bit about the Deep
South and will again in the future. You get that picture. What we will do
next is ratchet up the pressure by throwing Boy Scout juice (dinghy fuel) on
the fire by telling a few Mediterranean cruising tales supported with
pictures. As in everything we write they will be factual and without
embellishment. We're going to drive a stake deep into your gonnabe cruising
hearts planting a not so subtle message for when its Your Time. Don't fight
it. It won't hurt a bit. In time you'll be rocking to your own gentle
waves on anchor. You'll see. Ciao
July 16, 2007
Position: S54 48.41 W68 18.35 AFASyN dock (Yacht club), Ushuaia pp 589-594 Patagonia & Tierra del Fuego Nautical Guide
Well, mi amigos, since arriving in Puerto Williams we have provisioned for a
few days, taken a couple of hikes, one VERY tiring half way up Cerro
Banderas (Flag Mountain) in heavy snow AND mailed three picture CD's to the
States. We asked the lady at the Correos (Post Office) how long it would
take and her reply was "diez o veinte dias" (10 or 20 days). She doesn't
have a clue! We will repeat with a second copy from Ushuaia on Monday.
(They won't have a clue either.)
On one of the hikes we cheated with photography. You can spend hours
stalking local birds of prey or you can cheat and go to the Puerto Williams
garbage dump. Bird magnet. The largest local bird of prey is the Carancho,
a good sized hawk. The male Carancho has a red and yellow beak and a
beautiful fluffy yellow collar around its neck. Caranchos and their smaller
cousins Chimangos are everywhere by the dozens. My sweetie (MS) had her new
lense to be shooting away (18-200mm) and YT had big mama as well (70-400mm).
Great fun and in the cold, no smell. Along the same lines our Canadian
sailboat neighbors said they get their best bear shots around garbage cans.
Sunset that evening returning from the dump and a roundabout hike above town
was so pink it would look artificial in a photograph.
It is Saturday morning just after daylight. Running lights are on. We are
steaming for the turning mark off the reef. Puerto Williams is just
illuminating in the pinks of early morning. Across the Beagle in Tierra del
Fuego the sun is as bright as a forge. The clouds are so brilliant in the
clear air it is like looking at the sun. How many more times will we get to
visit this little frontier town? Not many. The people are so friendly,
particularly the Navy and Alcamar (Coast Guard) personnel. Late yesterday
afternoon as we were checking out in the Capitana del Puerto's office we had
a great time laughin' & jokin' practicing our Spanish and they their newly
learned English. They are being given lessons by the ladies of American and
Canadian sailboats. The last several times in PW when the Egret crew showed
up they all gather around for old home week. Not so in the summer with the
comings and goings of yachties and ferries from Ushuaia and so forth.
So here we go. Another trip on the Beagle. We still can't believe we're so
lucky to be here. We never get tired of looking at the snow covered
mountains on both sides, the sea lions jumping, fur seals, penguinos,
albatrosses, terns, petrels, gulls and so on. Life is different here.
Slower. More difficult. Yesterday we bought the last three shriveled
cucumbers in the market for last night's Greek salad. This morning the
ferry and supply ship, Bahia Azul (Blue Bay) was at the dock arriving on her
bi-monthly trip from the major continental supply town of Punta Arenas. PA
is located on the north side of the Straits of Magellan. As the fresh
produce comes out of crates today in the various markets there will be a
scramble for everyone to gather their two weeks supply. Special orders will
be delivered. All will be calm by this evening then the two week wait
begins again. A small price to pay for The Life in Puerto Williams.
Next, Egret's winter base of Ushuaia. What will Ushuaia bring? A few
things for SURE. Groceries, a few goodies like rubber gloves for handling
shore lines, a haircut (YT looks like a prisoner) AND dinner out tonight.
All you can eat Fueguian lamb. My sweetie (MS) ALWAYS gets dinner out when
we arrive back in Ushuaia. It's tradition.
We had a wonderful ride back down the Beagle. Picture 1. A young sea lion
floating in the Beagle holding one of its rear flippers with a front
flipper. Looks like a Fuegian basket. Bliss. No wind, sun and very few
clouds. All the critters were doing their deal. On arrival at AFASyN's
dock (yacht club) we did exactly what we said. Provision and dinner out.
Groceries are just groceries however the highlight was a trip to the French
bakery for two flutes (baguettes). Ushuaia's little bit of paradise.
One advantage we have in grocery shopping is our Barcelona cart. Picture 2.
In Barcelona, Spain all the short, squarish older ladies dressed in long
black coats (summer and winter) toddle around pulling these carts with their
tings inside. These ladies are smart!! The carts work. Other cruisers lug
their plastic bags down the dock to their boats or to the dinghy dock, then
to their boats. We know in their little black hearts they are jealous.
Particularly when they are doin the knuckle drag with cruiser fuel...beer
and wine. We may not look cool but we ARE cool. Graying hair, OK, YT has
premature gray hair and MS is on the bottle (blond bottle), but doesn't mean
Yup. Dinner out was all you can Fuegian lamb and steak along with a hot and
salad bar. Dinner with drinks, desert and so forth including tips was 25
bucks (American pesos). Egret's kind of deal. Notice we put tipS. A trick
we learned is to put a two peso ($.65) bill in the meat servers plate and
you get the best cut of lamb and steak. The fatty ribs go to the touristas.
We used to get the ribs. No mo.
Sun AM we got a rap on the pilothouse door. Two returning American cruisers
had a gift for MS & YT. Passagemaker Magazine with Egret on the cover. Yes
we were thrilled. They were walking through a marine store in Maine and saw
the words 'Cape Horn' peeking up from behind another magazine. Yup, they
were surprised. PMM really did a great job with the pictures and so forth
abet with a couple editing inaccuracies. We didn't think we would be able
to see a copy until October when we return to Ft Lauderdale for the boat
Monday AM. Rain has turned to fat snowflakes. MS is baking two huge apple
pies for dinner out tonight with locals (owners of Estancia Harberton) and
their American guests. A little taste of America for the ex-British
descendents and guests.
Yesterday when checking the internet we found the last VofE posting was 7-6
due to an emailing glitch. Catch up starting with the 7/9 posting.
Lastly we have a message from our Nordhavn amiga in Rhode Island who had the
foresight to bring VofE to all of you. (Prior to VofE all YT wrote was
memos and checks.) The Med bound 07 boats who traveled from Ft Lauderdale
to Bermuda then on to Newport will be in Portsmouth, R.I. with some owners
who made the trip, for your inspection along with a few other boats. If you
are in the area this is a worthwhile venture sans crowds. Perhaps you can
fuel your own fires for when its Your Time. Its all about baby steps.
Learn all you can mi amigos. Here are the details:
Nordhavn Yachts Northeast office at 222 Narragansett Blvd., Portsmouth, RI
We'll have a 40, 43, 47 and 55 here for display. And there will be some
owners on hand to answer questions.
Please rsvp before showing up - either to email@example.com
or by calling us at 401-293-0910
So there you have it. Another few days in The Life. Ciao.
July 11, 2007
Position: Puerto Williams, Chile Rafted to the Yacht Club Micalvi S54
56.10 W67 37.11 PP 543 Patagonia & Tierra del Feugo Nautical Guide
Mon 7-09 PM. Well, mi amigos, Egret and crew had a blustery ride east
down the Beagle to Isla Navarino with sustained winds in the mid 30's and
gusting near 50. No biggie. It was all from astern pushing our little
home up to 7.5 knots turning just 1350 RPM's giving us about 7.5 MPG. Our
kinda deal. Jumping sea lions and diving penguinos along the way. Ho
hum.....again. We arrived Isla Navarino just about dark anchoring in
front of the Alcamar's house (Coast Guard). My sweetie spun the windlass
wheel, dropped TK in 37', 130' of chain plus snubber. Following a serious
pull setting TK all was well. If that seems a bit short on scope it
normally would be. We have restrictive swinging room but that is no
excuse. The reason we are comfortable this is about our 9th time
anchoring here. We have been anchored previously for two consecutive days
with serious winds and never budged an inch in the great holding.
Tomorrow at daylight we'll hoist the CIB then beat feet for Puerto
Tue 7-10 AM Heavy frost this morning. We lifted the CIB, hoisted TK
departing just after daylight. After early residual swells the Beagle is
calm with an easterly breeze. 6.9 knots @ 1500 RPM. Jumping sea lions,
penguinos, gulls and a few albatrosses...yawn. Across the way
Ushuaia is waking up with the city lights still shining on the water,
saucer shaped clouds in pinks and blues over the white, slowly
illuminating mountains...yawn...again. 'Tain't bad. Puerto
Williams is next about 26 miles east.
Tue PM Puerto Williams, Chile, rafted to the Yacht Club Micalvi (a sunken
WW II ammunition supply ship). FINALLY after burning up mucho Iridium
time checking e-mail worrying about the Med Bound group we got Milt Baker's
posting noting the arrival of the Med Bound boats.
We are proud of this first group of small powerboats crossing the Atlantic
in a private organized rally. Kudos to Milt Baker for his effort in
putting this group together in addition to the boats who traveled as far
as Bermuda before making their way back to the US east coast. These three
yachts have so much to look forward to in the Med. It is now time for
them to relax. Great job.
Egret's glacier loop vacation is over. Since arriving we have re-provisioned through Sat. when we will return to Ushuaia. We can't think of a
happier note (Med Bound 07) to end Egret's day to day reporting on her
activities. We will return to our usual reporting on no set schedule.
Today in a Forum Reply question we danced around a controversial subject.
The reply is interesting reading. One point we hoped we made clear is the
Egret crew is nothing more than a couple of retired folks enjoying
themselves and telling our tales. Our tales are truthful, not embellished
and as accurate as we can make them. Our reason for telling these tales
is in the forum reply.
July 9, 2007
Position: Brazo Sudoeste (SW Arm of the Beagle) Underway
Fri 7-06 PM Well, mi amigos, Egret is now a flush deck cruiser. The snow
is HIGHER than the bulwarks on the foredeck. Soon even the little mound
on top of the windlass will be smothered. The heavy winds of morning are
mostly gone however the snow has increased with the rise of the barometer.
On returning to Ushuaia we will immediately shop for: FOOD, heavy rubber
gloves, a plastic snow shovel, and double lense-vented ski glasses for eye protection hiking in the woods and in blowing snow. Also, we will get
serious about getting the #@%$&*%)^ wing back in operation.
Today we took the time to put together about 175 pictures on CD's to be
mailed to the Nordhavn office in Rhode Island. Shortly thereafter their
picks will appear in the VofE Pictures section. It is difficult to pick
pictures that are interesting for non observers. We have enough scenery
photographs for a number of TdelF calendars but they don't mean anything
to viewers without an explanation. We included quite a few pictures of
Egret in various anchorages to give you an idea of the anchorages
themselves along with scenery. We also included a few more critters. A
number of the pictures were taken by my sweetie and perhaps the very best
one. When we return to the States in October for the Ft Lauderdale Boat
Show we will buy her the same camera lense as YT so she too may take
pictures that aren't washed out by the sun. Can't wait.
Sat 7-07-07 (what a date - the numbers will line up just 5 more times
this century) Mucho, mucho snow. There are no longer any bumps on the
foredeck from the hatches, the windlass is almost a memory, wild. Icicles
have reached from the boat deck to the rail. Stalactites have become
stalagmites or shall we say a solid bar of ice? The high winds have
stopped with a mild breeze bringing a bit more snow. We hope to get out
today for a hike before leaving in tomorrow's calm. With the dwindling
food supply now giving us a loose schedule we need to move.
Speaking of schedules. Schedules are probably the most common cause of
abuses to navigation safety there are. Even in such normally benign areas
like the Chesapeake, Bahamas or Juan de Fucha to pick a few, a schedule
causing transiting in marginal weather can cause crews to be quite shaken
and stirred or worse. Here in the Deep South adventure charter sailboats
and cruise ships having to meet crew/passenger deadlines (flights from and
incoming) can cause themselves great discomfort transiting the Drake
Passage. In the Big picture missing a flight, a day of work, school or
whatever is no big deal. It is best to leave early or later than to take
a chance. Sorry for the soapbox. The weather that just passed south in
the Drake really got our attention.
Sat PM Beautiful day. A bit of wind and snow. Our hike was short in
distance but long in exercise. At times we were breaking the snow trail
with our knees. If we keep that up we'll have the thighs of Seabiscuit.
Time for snowshoes! Before we left to go hiking we saw a type of gull we
didn't recognize fussing around in the kelp. It finally flew up five feet
or so then dove under water. It came up with a small centolla (southern
king crab) then flew to shore. It ate as fast as it could with the crab
doing its best to get back in the water. Next a large sea gull came
shooing away the first bird. Next a small hawk came and took over from
the sea gull. Interesting watching nature. Based on this we hoped to
have a trap full of dinner. Not to be. Empty....again.
We received our daily log from Bluewater (Med Bound 07) saying they have
no boat issues and great weather. Just as it should be. Even 'no fish
Milt' has scored along with the other two N55's.
Milt's posting mentioned Andy and Pam Wall aboard Kandarik today. (A 39'
sailboat that just arrived in Spain) We have had correspondence with Pam
recently giving Mediterranean advice. She reported her Aussie husband Andy
sailed his 30' sailboat from Australia, touching in New Zealand, straight
here rounding Cape Horn in the middle 70's. This is before GPS, better
boats, proper guides, today's charts and so forth. Talk about an
adventure!!! What we long distance powerboat cruisers do is child's play
compared to the wakes we follow.
Sun 7-08 Wind n' rain last night, just wind today. The winds are
sustained in the 20's with higher gusts. The CIB is snow free but VERY
full of icy water. Most of Egret's snow is gone except for the foredeck.
The expected high bringing calm weather won't be here until very early Tue
AM. Our next run is short to Isla Navarino so perhaps we can get out Mon
noon or so. We'll see. Also this morning my sweetie brought up the 90
day visa deal. By staying in Puerto Williams a week or so and leaving a
little early for the Ft Lauderdale Boat Show in October we can just scooch
under the 90 day visa. The alternative is we pay an additional $100
apiece and get a 90 day extension. We'll also have to check on the boat
requirements. We'll see.
Sun PM The wind has mostly quit but the rain has taken over. YT finally
quit procrastinating and took a look at the generator exhaust elbow. In
this cold water we can't bring the generator up to its normal 195 degree
temperature unless we run the watermaker. Even with the watermaker pumps
running when the hot water heating element reaches temp and shuts off, the
generator engine temp drops a bit. On the days when we can't run the
watermaker and are just running the reverse cycle air conditioners to load
the engine the gen temp is abut 150-155 degrees causing some sooting in
the water. One concern was that with low heat the exhaust elbow would be
clogging. Our original cast iron manifold lasted 1870 hours (over 5+
years) and should have been changed at 1500 hours. The new replacement
elbows are cast stainless steel. By removing the maintenance side, top
and loosening the back side of the sound shield you sort of have access to
remove the elbow. One trick is to remove the engine intake air box after
removing the sound shield panels. Secondly have 1/4" drive rachets and
sockets with swivels, etc. (13mm) You will also need a 13mm open end
wrench and a large screwdriver for prying. Instead of a smaller
screwdriver for loosening hose clamps we use the 1/4" drive ratchet with
7 & 8 mm sockets. (8mm for American clamps - 7mm for Swedish clamps.)
Another important item is to use a plastic garbage bag for a water shield
when you start loosening hoses that contain water or anti freeze so no
water/AF drops into the electrical end. AND you need a lot of patience.
Bottom line: After 775 hours (less than 1 year) of mostly cool running
the elbow is PERFECT. The new elbow also seems to be a straighter shot -
better design. We won't be in warm water until May of next year so we'll
have to live with what we have.
Mon 7-09 Noon. Early this morning after a night of wind and rain Egret
popped the shorelines and is under way. What a difference between a
protected anchorage and the unprotected Beagle. When we popped free we
had relative calms and a gusts in the 15 knot range. Out here in the
Beagle it's a bit different. The good news is the wind is behind us and
are cruising at 6.9 knots @1350 RPM. If YT weren't so lazy he would drop
the paravane poles only and pick up a bit more...however. The snow is
all but completely gone from Egret including the foredeck. Bailing the
ice water out of CIB this morning was a treat.
So there you have it. Another couple days in The Life, a bit of techno
goodies passed along and a short soapbox rant. Ciao.
July 6, 2007
Position: S55 03.43 W69 22.65 Caleta Maria Helena, Estero Penhoat, Isla
Hoste pp512 Patagonia & Tierra del Feugo Nautical Guide (arrived Thur afternoon)
Well, mi amigos, big happenings. Med Bound 07 is well on the way of their
final leg to Gibraltar. This 1200-plus mile jaunt will fly by. We can
promise you when their group sees the Rock for the first time it will be
quite emotional. All the planning, effort, anxieties of the unknown, and
sea miles will evaporate when the cloud shrouded pinnacle appears. All the
NAR graduates wish them the best and may have their own moist eyes when
Milt's daily log announces seeing the Rock from THEIR decks for the first
Tue 7-3 We were a bit premature in the last paragraph of the previous VofE.
We said "all is well". It WAS well when we typed those words and fired VofE
into space. SOON our little white fiberglass world was being rocked by
williwaws. One turned us sideways and pushed us near the rocky beach.
Apparently the gust had taken the slack out of the anchor chain, cut through
the top of the uphill slope and perhaps pulled TK in deeper. We refired the
Lugger. Mary was in the flybridge keeping the boat straight and YT
repositioned the stbd line ashore further to stbd turning Egret more into
the worst of the williwaws (they were coming from EVERY direction) and
giving us more distance from shore. Next we used the windlass to take ALL
the slack out of the chain then relaxing it just a bit with a snubber. We
were continuously rocked every few minutes when the next train roared
through that afternoon and during the night.
Today it is still gusty but not as bad. It snowed a bit last night and the
rain has stopped. We'll see what today brings. Hope the crabs are hungry.
Tue PM. Heavy snow with occasional williwaws. (A good day for reading and
putzin') Since writing the above we have received the first Med Bound 07
posting from Bluewater since leaving Horta in the Azores. The Gibraltar
bound small fleet is experiencing great weather with a barometric pressure
reading of 1032.7 milabars. We have just pulled up the gribs (weather
files) for today. The deep low passing due south of our protected anchorage
is 945.4 milibars. The difference is 87.3 millibars. THAT, mi amigos is a
VERY deep hole in the atmosphere. Now the surrounding high pressure is
trying to fill that hole. See where these stiff winds come from? The Drake
Passage between Cape Horn and the Antarctic Peninsula has to be every
mariner's nightmare at the moment. Picture 1 is Egret's analog barometer
bottomed out. You get the picture.
Tue evening. Williwaws most all day along with heavy snow. The trees
behind Egret load with snow then shed every white flake when the trains
roaring through shake their little evergreen world.
On a more humorous note, in the last VofE we referred to boats with
beautiful varnish as "girl boats". This was of course directed at friends
with beautiful brightwork. It took but a single day to have one reply.
They are copied below (a bit censored):
"You referred to boats with beautiful varnish as being "girl boats". May I
remind you that boats are
always referred to as "she". So what you are saying is Egret is a "he"
boat? That sure sounds funny, but
I will take your word for it. We do enjoy your updates about the voyages of
Egret and life aboard him".
Egret's reply: "Girl boats are boats whose OWNERS make everything shiny,
untouchable and unserviceable. We use our raw teak cap rail for a
workbench, step, etc. Of course all boats are 'she boats', vamps, wenches,
or whatever. Actually we used to own a girl boat, a 32' GB. 'Bout killed
ourselves trying to keep her decks and brightwork a thing of beauty until we
finally used Awlgrip Awlbrite and Snappy Teak Nu 10-1.
Egret is a proper lady, not a boy. At times she is a bit naughty as all
So, you can see how cruisers entertain themselves on steaming, sultry,
breezeless, malaria infested afternoons aboard a girl boat (in their case)
or snowing afternoons aboard a proper lady in Egret's case. We met this
couple five years ago in Georgetown, Bahamas and have been in touch or run
into each other since (Bahamas again, Dominican Republic and Barcelona, land
travel for them). They are also good friends of Milt and Judy Baker on
Bluewater (Med Bound 07). Its a very small world we cruisers live in. They
currently float between Panama and the San Blas Islands, Bluewater will
soon be in the Med and Egret is in Chile/Argentina. In two years where will
these three boats be?? Who knows, but never more than an e-mail away. You
get the picture.
Wed 7-4 Happy 4th! Finally, the digital barometer stopped falling at 970
millibars slowly marching up bringing more snow. The wind is STILL for a
change prompting the crew to take a hike through the snow trying to climb
the cliffs up to two inland lakes, one feeding into the other. There is
another way up but more difficult from the three 'easier' ways we tried. We
failed in all three attempts not willing to take risks near the top of each.
All in all it was a great day and good exercise tromping through the highest
snow yet. Reminds us of spring skiing in Colorado. On the way to shore and
again returning we were visited by a pod of five dusky dolphins. Duskies
have matching, elongated hour glass dark gray and white patterns along their
sides. They would charge the CIB swimming so fast their dorsal fins would
throw spray then at the last moment they would rocket under the dink. They
were so close to the dink bottom their pressure waves would rock the boat.
At times they would slow, roll on their sides and look up. Mary was in the
bow waving her hands and talking with them. Great fun. Picture 2.
One thing we noticed when dolphins move into a bay they usually stay for two
days or so. We have NEVER caught a crab with dolphins in the bay. Wonder
if those water dogs are raiding our trap???? Time for the harpoon. Arggg.
Thur 7-5 Mucho snow. Egret is going to move today. We have a day of calm
and two more days of somewhat diminished but still high winds before a big
high moves over bringing calm. Snow on the foredeck is quite deep. Drifts
are over the bulwarks. Snow in the cockpit is a drift from well above the
cap rail to the salon door. It is getting light. Gottago sweep de white
Thur noon. Under way eastbound in Brazo Sudoeste (SW Arm of the Beagle)
dodging floating ice. 6.1 knots @ 1350 RPM. The ice chunks (1' - 3' in
diameter) have been swept by waves and have many SHARP shapes so it's best
to dodgem. The snow is all the way down to the tide line. The sun is
peeking through here and there illuminating the mountains on the south side.
Sea lions and penguins. Beautiful.
One item we missed on outfitting for the Deep South are heavy gauntlet
rubber gloves used by the local fishermen. Under those we could wear our
fleece gloves. This morning we tried using heavy surgical gloves under our
regular gloves. Better but not good enough when handling icy shore lines
and mucho frio (very cold) sea water. It is harder on my sweetie than YT.
She hand over hands the shore lines back into the cockpit pulling in YT and
the dink after snapping loose from the trees. NEXT she has to go to the
foredeck and handle anchor duties while YT is back in the pilothouse all
toasty. YT always makes sure she get another cuppa when under way. It's
not all ice caves and dolphins playing.
Thur PM Egret is anchored in another notch in the rocks inside a two
pronged fjord. (see Position) This time we used two large rocks for
securing the shore lines. We have low hills on three sides, all covered in
deep snow. Beautiful. The crab trap is set, no wind and a bit of sun.
Life is good for the Egret crew.
Fri 7-6 Wind n' snow from every southern quadrant. Horizontal snow at
times. The shore lines set to the south are getting a workout. TK is
getting some time off from hard work. We are determined to get out and hike
today before we head for the barn (grocery stores). After a month and a
half of vacation we are down to ziplocks full of ice in the freezer to make
up for the MISSING food. With a week's provisions left we need to get
back. We'll miss Estero de las 1000 Cascadas (Bay of 1000 Waterfalls).
Perhaps next time.
We had two recent forum requests of interest. One was about solar panels
and the other was about boat insurance. We answered both questions based on
our experience. You may want to take a look for the day when its Your Time.
So there you have it. A few more days in The Life. What will the next week
bring? We'll see. Dosen't matter. Still better than work. Ciao.
July 2, 2007
Position: S55 03.45 W69 50.28 Bahia de los Pescadores, (Fishermans Bay), Isla Gordon pp518 Patagonia & Tierra del Fuego Nautical Guide
Fri PM 6-29-07: Well, mi amigos, things have changed since this morning and
our last VofE posting. From this morning's half-ice free bay and little
wind have come the expected SW winds. There are several changes. The bay
in now ice free, the ice disappearing in the waves and rain. The wimperwaws
have turned into williwaws. Egret is surrounded on three sides by nearly
sheer mountains. The open side faces south. We are on the WNW corner of
the bay. When the southwesterlies rocket in (accelerated venturi like
between two tall snow covered mountains with the lower glacier in between)
they sweep around the bowl in front, to the left then into our little ship.
We can see them coming. They start with a fog like rising of swirling water
lifting straight up then moving inevitably closer and closer until slammo.
Whack city. Egret's bow swings to stbd tugging against a VERY stubborn TK
and chain. No problema. If we had a fourth polypro line we would lead it
the 75 yards to port to the first tree giving a proper angle. If it gets
REAL bad we'll dig out one of the 250' braided nylon anchor rodes and take
that to the tree.
A second interesting situation is our elusive #%@$&^* crab trap. In between
rain showers YT suited up and prepared to drag for the trap. Voila!! In
front of the anchor chain was the submersed trap float just under water. It
was within minutes of sinking entirely. Well, the trap wouldn't budge.
After cleating the line to CIB and giving it a 30hp tug it still wouldn't
budge, however the anchor chain moved each time we used the dink pulling on
the line. Grande clue. Now the float is in the dink and the line is tied
to the chain. When we leave perhaps we'll recover the trap full of dinner.
We'll see. Another lesson learned. Heavy ice - no trapee PLUS we'll add a
We are surrounded by even more waterfalls on the steep mountains since the
rain. Oh yes, there is a second glacier, high and directly in front of our
little ship. Ho hum...again.
Sat 6-30 Where has the month gone?? Another great one with time and
memories that can never be taken away. It is early morning. My sweetie is
still in her warm bed with her first cuppa while the generator gives new
life to the batteries. The glacier out the pilothouse windows is getting
bluer by the moment. The waterfall across the way has grown. There is no
ice in the bay. The wind has quit for the moment. What will today bring?
We'll see. It looks like another good one.
Yup, another good one. YT and my sweetie took the CIB across the way to the
trail up to a hidden lake. After a near vertical start we trekked in the 8"
or so of snow toward the glacier. Like in many things two minds are better
than one. Mary picked up a hiking stick from a beaver dam as did YT. Boy
did they come in handy. Next she tried the shallow stream mud bottom
(glacier silt) and found it supported her weight so off we went on a much
easier trek. Pretty cool. We hiked right up to the glacier. THEN we
forded a little stream jumping from rock to rock and worked our way around
to an ice cave in the face of the glacier. Here is where the hiking sticks
came in VERY handy. The glacier was a steep angle of what looked like rock
but was ice with black dirt mixed. Yes it was slippery. With the stick on
the downhill side stuck into the stream we carefully worked our way to where
we were able to take pictures. Then, for just a flash the sun came out and
illuminated the cave and its chimney to the sky making the thin edges
translucent blue and white. Wow!!! Picture 1 & 2 (Could this be the home
of the abdominal snowman...or something like that?)
We made it away from the glacier without slipping and filling our boots with
ice water. Yes. Next it was off to another three waterfalls forming into
one. After it was a dinghy tour around the bay. We found two more glaciers
up high where we couldn't see them from the boat. Back to our little home.
On going by the anchor chain and tied off crab trap line we could see in the
calm water the line had but a single twist. A few minutes later the trap
was up and guess what. One more crab. Finally. We added more table
scraps to the now stinking mess and fired her back down a little further
away with TWO floats. We'll see.
Tonight its a batch of spaghetti and fresh baked corn bread. So there you
have it, another day in The Life. Yup, another good one.
Sun 7-1 Wow, July 1st and a holiday week in the States. Enjoy your time
off. Early this morning while enjoying the first cuppa Starbucks I was re
reading some articles in our Chile file, magazine articles collected since
1994. This is where our Deep South inspiration and early specialized
equipment knowledge came from. We in turn are passing along what we have
learned knowing very few of you have access to the same information. We
agree with most everything written but will include three items of interest.
1. One article said they put the line ashore bag in the dinghy leaving one
end fixed to the boat using reverse to take the line ashore. Aboard Egret
we leave the bag IN the boat with the line streaming easily over the cap
rail and not thru the hawse hole. For girl boats with beautiful varnish
this wouldn't work unless you were willing to give up some chafe for high
latitudes. After the line is secure ashore we feed the line back thru the
hawse hole and cleat it off. 2. In both dinks we installed an oversize
cleat INSIDE the transom for tying off a stern anchor and taking a wrap of
the line ashore freeing your hands. 3. This next item, anchor chain and
attachments, is the most important item and applicable to ALL boats from
coastal cruisers to ocean crossing voyagers. We will use Egret's chain for
an example. Egret has 3/8" system 4 or HT4 high test chain. These are
universal ratings. The largest shackle pin that will fit thru the links are
9/16" or 14.25mm. In US size shackles, a 7/16" galvanized forged steel
shackle is the largest that will fit. A 7/16" shackle has a 1/2" pin. (A
1/2" shackle has a 5/8" pin). A 7/16" shackle has a safe working load of
2000lbs. Three eights HT4 chain has a working load of 5400lbs. The weak
link is obvious. To expand a bit you should have a swivel attached to the
anchor, not just a shackle. Egret started with barrel shaped stainless
steel swivels but nearly came to grief when the two halves separated enough
to expose the bearings. We went with the tried and true galvanized forged
steel jaw and eye swivel, (3/4" safe working load 4 3/4 tons!!!) Notice
the discrepancy in a 7/16" shackle and a proper HD swivel.
Before ordering Egret's anchor chain we had known it can be special ordered
with elongated links on both ends. (Egret has American Chain and Cable
Company - ACCO, chain) We ordered a full barrel of chain (400') keeping
300' for the main rode. The remaining 100' we had cut in half giving us
manageable weight pieces (3/8" HT weights 1 1/2lbs per ft) ALSO with
elongated links on both ends. We store those two pieces under the main
engine for weight distribution and an out of the way place. With elongated
link ends on the two pieces we can couple them together with a proper size
If you have an existing boat, all isn't lost. The French manufacture
Wichard makes an extra strength stainless steel shackle that will couple
your existing chain with a proper swivel before the anchor. The Wichard
shackle number is 11206. It has a pin diameter of 15/32 or about a 1/2"
(12mm). Its safe working load is 9920lbs. (4509kg) This will fit 3/8" HT
Geesh, sorry for the side track but it's important. (Yes, we used to be in
the boat parts business)
Today could well be a copy and paste of yesterday...except even nicer. What
will today bring? We'll see.
Sun PM, Ho hum, what a day. We climbed our highest yet. Almost needed
oxygen. Just another day hiking in the snow and looking out over Isla
Hoste's vistas, glaciers, etc. and across the Beagle to Isla Gordon.
Returning we pulled the crab trap and voila, again we had another crab.
This time however it was a MUCHO GRANDE crab. Between this big guy and the
last one we'll have leftovers after tonight's dinner. Not bad. If weather
cooperates we'll leave tomorrow and tour nearby Estero de las 1000 Cascadas
(Bay - Estuary of 1000 waterfalls) before heading across the Beagle to Bahia
de los Pescadores (Bay of the Fishermen). We have been to Pescadores
before. It has a mean hike high up to two inland lakes we named after our
long time dog and cat, Jake and Dusty.
Mon 7-2 What a difference a day makes! What a difference a mile makes!!
Last night we pulled up the gribs (weather report) and found Mon thru Wed to
have VERY high W, WSW winds. There is a 953.7 low going to pass just south
of Cape Horn and a few miles to our south. (We are west of the Cape) Great.
Well before daylight we were doing our generator burn and preparing to leave
at first light. As the glacier was slowing turning blue we removed the bow
line to the islet, port stern line then the stbd. There was little wind.
Just as we were leaving the wind started puffing a bit as we departed thru a
thin skim of ice forming. When we hit the Beagle things REALLY changed.
Gusts to over 50 knots shooting down the Beagle from the west. YT was in
the flybridge. Love that venturi windshield. The Beagle has high mountains
on both sides capturing the wind and sending it funneling on its way.
Bahia Pescadores is directly across the Beagle on Isla Gordon. Once inside
the winds diminished. On reaching the protected anchorage it was STILL. TK
down, two lines ashore, crab trap down, all is well. Ms. Ocean is letting
everyone know SHE is still in charge in the Deep South. When she decides to
behave we'll move on.