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"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.  

May 31, 2007
Position: Beagle Channel between Ushuaia, Arg. and Puerto Williams, Chile

March 24

In a holiday stackup of VofE's the May 16, 21, and 24 VofE were all posted at the same time and the May 25 the next day. One VofE flows to the other so its best to start with the 16th.

Well, mi amigos, big change of plans. After a week or so hiking n' putsin' around Puerto Williams we were preparing to leave for our winter Chilean Channels cruise. Wellll, when we got up the boat was icy. It didn't take long to find the heater had quit AND the fuel in the above deck gravity feed fuel tank had turned to mush. Waxing if you will. The Argies, unlike the rest of the modern world, haven't added kerosene to their fuel, making it 'winter fuel', at least not yet. We had ICE INSIDE on the pilot house windows. Groan. It was 32 degrees (0 C) inside and 18 degrees (-8 C) outside. Soooo, we checked out of Chile and returned to Ushuaia where we bought four, 25 liter jerry jugs and filled them with kerosene. We have since cut the heater fuel 15% with kerosene as our first test to see if that is enough. This should last us a couple of months. The internal fuel tanks for the main engine, gen, etc. are stand alone tanks (not integral) and insulated. We won't have a problem there.

After three nearly balmy (40+ degrees) days of weather with little or no wind, we checked out with the Prefectura (Coast Guard) last night for an early morning departure back to Puerto Williams. The squeaker half of the Egret crew (not Mary) didn't spend the money for a weather forecast. Wellll, it blew like you know what last night off and on. We woke up this morning to a snow covered deck and the same on and off winds (but less than last night). We started the engine in calm wind and falling snow. Of course, when we went to take off the dock lines it was puffin a bit. Oh well.

The trip down the Beagle has had following wind, snow and tide so we are rocketing along at 7.3 knots burning a tiny amount of fuel at 1350 RPMs. The picture of the foredeck was taken an hour ago. Since then the snow has doubled in depth. Beautiful. We haven't seen many dolphins in the Beagle on our trips but this time of year fur seals take their place. (Picture 2) These little guys delight in following, jumping beside and in front of Egret. Sometimes they are in groups of five or ten or so and other times singly like this one. Penguins are everywhere along with albatrosses soaring in the wind.

Because of the low visibility we are taking the long way to Puerto Williams, out and around the lighthouse for a reef. There is an inshore short cut that is an easy entrance but in low vis we don't take chances. Normally Puerto Williams stands out with the shoreline buildings and red roofs but now everything is white. So again we start this next bit of Egret's exploring. Great fun. Life is good for the Egret crew. Ciao.

FYI, a reader wrote in and asked about our #@%&^*($@^ wing engine. Our reply is under the Forum section of VofE.


May 26, 2007
Position: Puerto Williams, Chile Rafted off the MiCalvi - still

March 24

Well, mi amigos, we haven't quite told the truth...again. First, Egret is not under way as we stated we would be in our last VofE. Waking up this morning and seeing the fresh snow inspired this VofE, but more on that in a bit. Secondly, in the last VofE we mentioned "a shameless series of commercials". It should have said: a shameless series of commercials for The Life. We don't do real commercials. Real commercials are for the idiot box, radio, signs, internet pop ups, etc. Real commercials are an intrusion into your few precious minutes of free time before you too can enjoy The Life.

The last VofE was written on Thurs, sent late Thurs PM and dated Fri. Sooo, its been two days of beautiful snow since. (picture 1 - Egret's paravane retrieval winch) Friday the front was moving through with winds and the first snow. It wasn't a great day so Mary and I lazed out and spent the day aboard our toasty little ship readin' n' putsin'. It also gave us a chance to observe our little world of the MiCalvi (the sunken WWII ship we are rafted too) and its adjoining tidal creek. There were a pair of male steamer ducks paddling back and forth all day on the opposite shore keeping a female steamer from getting into the water to feed. Steamer ducks are the ones who are flightless using their wings like side paddle wheels (steamship) to flee in addition to using their feet. Don't know what that was all about but this morning the boys were still cruising around but she was gone.

In late afternoon the small German steel sloop, Ultima, with a young couple aboard returned from their trip to Cabo de Hornos (Cape Horn). (sailboat on the right - picture 2) We asked if they made it around. Their reply was sad but predictable. "No!!!! Ve vill NEVER go back. It is not a nice place". Egret was at the MiCalvi when they left & KNEW weather was coming but never guessed they didn't have access to the same weather information we did. We thought it was a several week attempt waiting for the right time before the rounding. I don't know if you can see it in the reduced pixel picture but if you look at their wind generator it only has three of its five blades. Tres vs cinco (three vs five blades) tells a beeg story. Grande wind.

The sailboat on the left is Wandering Albatross, a 40' beautiful steel sloop owned by our South African/Scottish friends. They spent two months in the Chilean Channels returning the other day. We first met them in Mar del Plata, Argentina on their way south. Since their arrival in Ushuaia they have also spent two months in Antarctica. They are intrepid, very skilled 40ish sailors who are true adventurers. They pushed so far south in Antarctica they got caught in the ice. Because of the resulting damage to their rudder arm, weld sheared, they had to hand steer using the emergency tiller back across the Drake Passage to Ushuaia where they could repair the damage. This coming spring they are leaving Ushuaia for the Falklands, So Georgia Islands then making the call where to go next. Pretty cool. When they left this morning we loaned them our table top book, Antarctic Oasis, South Georgia Island by Tim and Pauline Carr. The Carrs lived on So Georgia for ten or so years tending the whaling museum living aboard their 100 year old, 30' enginless sloop. The photographs and story are amazing. (South Georgia is the island Shackleton crossed on foot - after 800 miles at sea in an open sailboat - after his ship was crushed in the ice in Antarctica.)

The timing for our last couple days hiking couldn't have been better. The trek to the top of Cerro Bandera was in good weather with enough snow for good footing and the following day's hike along a valley and low mountain stream had more snow for even better footing. Today both would be a bit risky with the snow covering the slippery roots and holes in the boggy areas.

This is Egret's first big snow. Both dinghies are partially full of snow. This is all a learning process for us but we'll figure it out. This morning during breakfast the steamers were cruising around, a flight of five pintail ducks winged by landing through the skim ice, and a seagull was flying up 15 feet or so dropping its breakfast mussels on the snow covered rocks. We didn't see how the seagull could open the shells with all the snow on the rocks but both times we watched it worked. This morning's snow on top of the bow rail is gone, the sun is out and its beautiful. Time for a hike to town. Life is good for the Egret crew. Ciao.

May 24, 2007
Position: Puerto Williams, Chile rafted off the MiCalvi (still)

March 24

Well, mi amigos, the Egret crew has been busy hiking & with the social whirl. Our South African/Scottish cruising buddies have returned from the Chilean Channels after nearly two months away. They didn't get far, just around Isla Gordon & all the fjords enjoying themselves immensely. Skim ice is starting to be an issue here and there so we will have to pay close attention on calm, cold days. Fresh water from the glaciers floating on top of the salt water is the issue. If ice is a big problem getting to shore to attach the shore lines or for hiking we may have to use the fiberglass catamaran dinghy instead of the inflatable. If the ice is REAL bad we'll put a few layers of biaxial fiberglass tape on the stems with West System epoxy to turn the catamaran into a mini ice breaker....arrrrg.

The pictures are of our buddies we hiked to the top of Cerro Bandera (Flag Mountain) with. You can see from the picture how windy it was. They look like skydivers leaning into the wind. Mary and I went back yesterday. There was a LOT more snow but only about 25 knots of wind at the summit. The other picture is of downtown Puerto Williams (1/3 of the U shaped main shopping center). This is truly a frontier town with a hardy civilian population, fishermen and support for the Chilean Navy base, and the naval personnel.

The balance of this VofE is a shameless series of commercials. First, Med Bound 2007 is delayed by weather if you haven't read on the www.nordhavn.com website. We don't have internet access, however in e-mails we have learned they have sustained winds of 25 knots or more from the NE. This, mi amigos, stands up the north flowing Gulfstream and makes traveling north a real chore. The participants are prudent in waiting for better weather and the Stream to lay down. I believe they will be able to get away Sun or so.

As you may have guessed Nord 46s are a big part of our current lives. In the May issue of Yachting magazine there are a number of great 46s for sale in the Nordhavn ad. It's rare this number of good 46s come together for sale at once. We know for sure 4 of those 46s have crossed oceans, one twice with two different owners. There are other boats for sale as well so it may be worth a peek if its near Your Time.

Lastly, before we left Ushuaia both Mary and I bought a pair of Sorel hiking boots. Both have removable liners and are heavily insulated. Both have heavy cleats on the soles for grip. In the local hiking through bogs, snow, ice and gravel roads they have been the best we have ever owned. Being from Florida this is all new to us so if you have known this for years please humor us. Just trying to pass on what works for us.

I suspect the next VofE will have our little ship sailing west into the Chilean Channels. We'll see what happens. Ciao.



May 21, 2007
Position: S54 56.10 W67 37.11 (rafted off the MiCalvi - Puerto Williams, Chile)

March 21

Well, mi amigos, Egret has moved to Puerto Williams to begin her Chilean Channels winter tour. The 'yacht club' in Puerto Williams is a sunken WWII ammunition supply ship...the MiCalvi. Inside the wheelhouse and bridge of the MiCalvi is a bar catering to the local Chilean Naval officers and cruisers from private boats and the adventure charter boats. The walls are covered with memorabilia from years past of all the famous boats of their era and others. There is a picture of Egret stapled to one of the walls as a reminder of her first visit in January '07 and several times since. (Picture 1)

When leaving Ushuaia we were approached by an East German backpacker for a ride to Pto Williams in hopes of getting a berth on a north bound sailboat. We agreed to take him as well as a couple we know who have two charter sailboats. They were taking their big one to PW to pick up the smaller of the two and bring her back to Ushuaia for repairs. We invited them, their two children and another friend of theirs. Off we went in good weather for a pleasant ride to PW. On arrival we rafted off an American sailboat, Tamura, who in turn was rafted off the MiCalvi.

Again, still, the social whirl continued with cocktails aboard Egret with the American couple, dinner the next night with the German/Venezuelan couple at their home in PW. The day after arrival Mary was hiking around town and I went toward the mountains. Along the way I got picked up by the German couple and was driven to the entrance of the trail to the top of the mountain behind PW. Montana Banderas (Flag Mountain) By the time we got to the snow covered top, blowing 50-60 knots est, yours truly had rubber legs. (Too tired to whimper). Picture 2. After I recover in a day or so Mary and I will go back so she can see the spectacular view of Argentina to the north across the Beagle including Isla Gable and Estancia Harberton. To the south the islands around Cape Horn were covered in mist.

This weekend is Navy Days between the Chileans and the Argentineans. Last weekend in Ushuaia a large Chilean gunship arrived in Ushuaia with the aft deck covered with small day sailors for a mini regatta held in Ushuaia Bay. The Chileans were met by an Argentinean brass band and honor guard. This weekend the Argies sent a menacing, all black gunship complete with two torpedo tubes aft and rocket launchers facing both sides of the ship to PW. The Argies sailed their tiny day boats down for yesterday's regatta. The regatta yesterday morning was fun to watch with the close racing. We heard from a local the Chileans flew in a ringer to sail one of the small boats. I can tell you from experience in every racers heart there is a large dark spot looking for any advantage, fair or not. Five knots or 150 knots it doesn't matter. The good news, again according to the German local, is in the past five years the Argies and Chileans have become more civil towards each other and relations are improving.

Today is a local holiday for Navy Days. Yesterday we took pictures of the local high school band practicing for today's parade along with pictures of the regatta. Later today we'll be there to join in the festivities. There are two more boats arriving from the Channels today we know so it may be a bit before we leave. It really doesn't matter. Great fun mi amigos. Life is good for the Egret crew.

We won't have internet access for some weeks so we can't give you specific information about the MUCHO GRANDE (VERY BIG) happenings in Ft Lauderdale with Med Bound 2007, the first private powerboat ocean crossing rally. If not yet they will soon be reporting their adventures on the www.nordhavn.com website. There will be daily logs from Bluewater, N47, for their entire Atlantic crossing.

 

May 12, 2007
Position: Ushuaia harbor. On anchor.

Well, mi amigos, big news today. This VofE has nothing to do with the Egret crew but has everything to do with The Life. History is being made here. Milt and Judy Baker (Nordhavn 47 - Bluewater - founders of Bluewater Books and Charts in Ft. Lauderdale) have initiated and spent countless hours soliciting other long distance cruisers to join them on their personal first Atlantic crossing to Gibraltar aboard Bluewater. Med Bound 2007 is the historical FIRST of a number of private ocean rallies to come in future years. Milt and Judy were the front men doing so much of the 2004 Nordhavn Atlantic Rally behind-the-scenes preparations, making the NAR a hugely successful event not only for the participants but also for those dreaming to follow someday. In addition, the Med Bound 2007's Operations Manual will become the 'bible' for future events. Many thanks to Milt and Judy for their many hours of organizational effort from us watching from the sidelines.

We asked Milt for the details of Med Bound 2007. Typical of Milt we received EXACTLY what we asked for and is copied verbatum below. In addition to the MB 07 participants there are three original NAR participants showing up in Ft. Lauderdale to wish the new group bon voyage. Autumn Wind N62 (Bill and Arline Smith) and Strictly For Fun, N47 (Scott and Teri Strickland) will be there to see off the Med Bound boats - including NAR participant N62 Grey Pearl (Braun and Tina Jones) who will be making the trek w/ the group to Bermuda (then veer off on their own to Annapolis.). Uno Mas, N40 (John and Sue Spencer), is in the vicinity and I wouldn't be suprised if they showed up as well.

Bluewater will be giving voyage updates on the www.nordhavn.com website. For many of you this will be your first chance to follow a REAL live ocean crossing by a number of 'mom and pop' private long distance cruisers. This, mi amigos, is the real deal. This isn't TV. You can follow every nautical mile thru Bluewater's postings. Exciting stuff. Milt's e-mail follows.

To quote from the Med Bound 2007 operations manual:

"The Med Bound 2007 Rally was established to provide owners and crew members of long range, owner-operated motor yachts an opportunity to participate in a safe and enjoyable ocean-crossing event. Approximately 60% of the Med Bound 2007 fleet will make passages from Fort Lauderdale to Bermuda, then to Newport, RI, while the balance are expected to proceed from Fort Lauderdale to Gibraltar via Bermuda and Horta on the island of Faial in the Azores.

"Rally participants can expect to experience the personal challenge of passagemaking across siginficant portions of the North Atlantic Ocean aboard a small yacht. Additionally, they can look forward to the camaraderie inherent in voyaging with friends and a degree of added safety inherent in having other vessels nearby and the reassurance provided by other yachtsmen. Every yacht and every crew is expected to be self-sufficient--that is, capable of completing the passage independently and in a safe manner without outside assistance. In the final analysis, each Med Bound 2007 captain is in command of his or her own vessel, and a safe and enjoyable passage depends upon the captain exercising sound judgment and the vessel being open-ocean capable and properly manned and equipped for the voyage."

The nominal schedule for Med Bound:

May 18 - Arrive Coral Ridge Yacht Club, Ft Lauderdale
May 19 - 22 Seminars and inspections
May 23 - Bon voyage partry
May 24 - Depart for Bermuda (10 yachts - 39 people)
Leg 1 - 935 NM - 5.8 days @ 6.7 kts
May 30 - Arrive Bermuda, clear in at RBYC, Hamilton
Jun 7 - Final weather briefing from Bob Jones (on-site) - depart Bermuda
Leg 2A - 633 NM to Newport - 4.0 days @ 6.5 kts (5 yachts - 19 people)*
Leg 2B - 1,818 NM to Horta - 12.0 days @ 6.3 kts (17 people)
Jun 11 - Arrive Newport
Jun 14 - Rally ends for Newport boats after welcome party and final party
Jun 19 - Arrive Horta
Jun 27 - Depart Horta
Leg 3 - 7.1 days @ 6.6 knots (3 yachts - 13 people)**
Jul 4 - Arrive Horta
Jul 7 - Rally ends for Horta yachts after final party

* Leg 2A: One of the yachts will go on its own to Annapolis, MD **Leg 3:
One of the yachts will remain in the Azores for some weeks

Participants and crew numbers (including captain) are:

To Gibraltar
N62 Adventure, Capt. Dave Crannell, crew of 6
N55 Moana Kuewa, Capt. Christine Bauman, crew of 5
N47 Bluewater, Capt. Milt Baker, crew of 3

To Horta
N55 Salty Dawg, Capt. David Bock

To Newport
N62 New Frontier, Capt. Jerry Reynolds, crew of 5
N50 Downtime, Capt. Walter Smithe III, crew of 5
N47 Imagine, Capt. Greg Beckner, crew of 5
N43 Summer Skis, Capt. Jim Fuller, crew of 3
N40 Beso, Capt. Chip Marsh, crew of 2

To Annapolis
N62 Grey Pearl, Capt. Braun Jones, crew of 4 (this leg is not a part of the rally) The numbers will not always add because there is some crew shuffle planned in Bermuda.

For the record, I am the rally organizer and I organized it because I thought it would be fun to have company on Bluewater's crossing to the Med. Jim Fuller is my number two and has done a terrific job. Jim will be division leader for the leg from Bermuda to Newport. Planning for Med Bound started last fall. Although PAE is not the sponsor of the event, they have been most generous and have made a substantial contribution which underwrites many of Med Bound's expenses, including Med Bound regalia (shirts, ball caps, etc.), social events, and the cost of Med Bound's "chief engineer," Bermie Francis who will ride with the yachts from Fort Lauderdale through to Gibraltar. Bob Jones of OMNI will be the official weather router and will be in Fort Lauderdale to for the departure weather briefing. Among the seminars will be an all-day Lugger/Northern Lights seminar by Bob Senter of ADE.

Interestingly, I tried and tried to attract some non-Nordhavns to this rally but was not successful. That probably says something about ocean-crossing owner-operated power boats!

--Milt

So there you have it. Med Bound 2007 will kick off this Friday (5-18-07) and will continue through Gibraltar. Exciting times. They ALL have so much to look forward to. We wish them all the best. Ciao.

'Omni Bob' Jones mentioned above was also Egret's weather forecaster for our fall 06 Atlantic crossing giving us accurate and comforting forecasts. (ocmarnav@aol.com)



May 11, 2007
Position: Ushuaia harbor. On anchor

March 20

Well, mi amigos, the Egret crew has been on vacation. A driving vacation. The first day it was a trip east paralleling the E/W Canal Beagle to Estancia (ranch) Harberton taking a care package of fresh fruit and veggies to the owner who is wintering with just two ranch hands and the cook on holiday. We had a nice chat, delivered our packages but declined his offer of noodles for lunch. The cook returned for a couple of days and cooked ahead. We couldn't bring ourselves to eat his little stash of pre-cooked food so after we left and headed east we broke into our emergency rations of chocolate and crackers. It sure wasn't all you can eat Fuegian lamb but it held us over until we got back to town. The next day we included a jar of peanut butter along with more crackers & chocolate. Because this area is so remote with rapidly changing weather we carried extra clothes, a wool blanket and a bit of food in case of whatever.

The trip to Harberton was a trip in itself driving in second gear through snow and ice on the gravel road. Once near Harberton this gave way to gravel and all was well. The further east you travel away from the westerlies dumping rain/snow on the nearby west coast of Chile, it becomes drier and greener. We followed the road to the end where there is a Pre-fectura station (Argentine Coast Guard) that watches the strait between Isla Navarino and Isla Picton. This is the route to and from Antarctica and Cape Horn. Typically, the wind was howling & the water was white. Glad we weren't out in that mess.

The next two days were traveling through the mountain valleys to and from the Tierra del Fuego coastal town of Rio Grande. We were slipin n slidin on the ice in our little VW Golf on the higher passes but managed to make it without incident. The mountains gave way to the rolling hills & grasslands of the Pampas. Beautiful. Golden grass with sheep, cattle and gunacos. (Gunaco road warning sign - picture 1, a threesome - picture 2) Gunacos are the wild indigenous animal the first native Indians followed south down the South American continent when there was an ice bridge to Tierra del Fuego. They are now protected and range wild. With no natural predators (except man) they are prolific. We saw hundreds grazing by themselves or among the cattle and sheep. They leap effortlessly back and forth across the fences containing the domestic animals.
Along the way we crossed the world famous trout fishing streams ( Rio Ewan, etc). Serious fly fishermen arrive beginning in November (spring) from all over the world to catch, and release, these imported trout that have grown to gigantic proportions (ie, 22lb German brown trout, 15lb rainbow trout, etc). Rio Grande and the surrounding Estancias host the fishermen. Tom Goodall's (Estancia Harberton) brother at Estancia Vilamonte hosts fishermen fishing the Rio Ewan that runs thru their property.

Arriving in Rio Grande (Large River) we delivered birthday packages to the Lynch family (Goodall's daughter) and in turn were invited to stay the night. Its a long story however you can clearly see the original British missionaries' families descendants preparing the sixth generation for their leadership roll. We enjoyed the stay, the three children and listening to the political issues of Argentina. Let's just say we are lucky to be from where we are even with our leadership issues. The core principals are sound vs the Argentinians. It's sad for such a beautiful country with so much promise.

The return trip in warmer weather giving the roads a safe surface let us take our time making several stops for cafe' con leche' (steamed milk and coffee) and picture taking. Returning to our chilly little home (42 degrees inside) we were happy to find the batteries at 87% charge. Our plan of turning off the fridge along with everything else but the freezer worked. We could easily have stayed several more days. In this area of winds coming every few days we can't leave Egret safely except on a mooring. We have arranged for one starting in a month or so.

So there you have it. Egret crew's little vacation. Today it's off to the national park a few kilometers west of Ushuaia to see what that brings. Ciao.



May 7, 2007
Position: Ushuaia harbor, on anchor

March 20

Well, mi amigos, its been a busy few days for the Egret crew. We have been puttering with boat chores and taking hikes on nice days. The plan for the coming weeks is to do some inland rental car touring here in Argentine Tierra del Fuego then cruise to Puerto Williams, Chile, to keep yours truly's passport current (90 day cha-cha) AND to cruise the Chilean Canals. (Canal is Channel in Spanish)

Our plan for land touring is to first take a care package of fruit and veggies to Estancia Harberton for Tom Goodall, the owner, who rarely ventures out for the winter & doesn't have many visiting guests. His American wife, Natalie, is working diligently on a research paper about killer whales to be presented to a scientific gathering in Anchorage (due today). Reminds one of college days. She is working at their place in Ushuaia where she has internet access. Harberton doesn't have phone or internet service. After the Harberton trip we plan to tour NE up to Rio Grande, a small coastal village on the Argentine TdelF coast. This includes a trip over the mountains so we need to make this trip when the weather is as good as it is going to get in the coming months. We can't even imagine how beautiful it is going to be driving through the mountains.

This is the slow season here, between the Antarctic cruise ship business and winter skiing. We hope to be able to make a deal with the rental car guys to take a car for a week (you pay for 6 days with a weekly rental), but if its windy we have a lay day or days to boat sit. Budget, National, Alamo and Hertz are within a block of each other so we'll see.

We plan to shut off the diesel heater along with the fridge when we leave for overnighters. We'll keep the freezer on battery power. With the temperature inside the boat dropping into the 40's, freezer cycling shouldn't be a problem. It WILL be a chilly reception when we return. With the sun at such a low angle and up for a short time during the day the solar panels don't give us much additional battery amperage. (On sunny days in the tropics, including the Med, they give us about half of our daily amperage usage, 4 - 150 watt panels.) For the first time ever we are routinely running the generator for an hour and a half in the mornings and again for an hour or so in the evenings. The good news is we load the generator with the reverse cycle air conditioning. We have the thermostats set to 90 degrees (32 C) so in no time the boat is toasty.

The other day we took a taxi to the ski lift above town and walked back down. (Yup, the dogs were barkin') See Picture 1. We'll repeat the trip often during the winter, we're sure. Of course, after the trip down we need to treat ourselves to our French bakery/sandwich shop. Picture 2. We have three favorites: choc o late' caliente (hot steamed milk with a HUGE blob of chocolate in the bottom of the glass), cafe' con leche' (coffee with steamed milk), and cafe' americano (American coffee). Along with the caliente (hot) drink we have a fou fou little pastry. Today it was a strawberry whipped topping on a little cake. Ho hum, life is good for the Egret crew. Leaving, its always a loaf or two of the very best bread since France. Today it was a whole wheat loaf (for Mary) and a heavy loaf bread with nuts for the other half. The bread is so good there are days for breakfast its all we have along with Starbucks French roast coffee. French bread toasted with Turkish, Spanish or Argentine jam. Ho hum, again.

There are three Argentine warships docked at the main dock just a few hundred yards from Egret. The setting sun has the snow on the mountains behind the ships beautifully illuminated. It would be a great picture we would call 'War and Peace' but we'll let that dog lie. Peace and happiness is all we look for these days. We're happy even though the #@%$&*(! wing STILL isn't running...but that's another story. Ciao

Winter cruising in the Canals will be spectacular. The difference between
summer cruising and winter cruising is quite different.



May 3, 2007
Position: Ushuaia harbor, on anchor

March 20

Well, mi amigos, long time no VofE. Priorities ya know. My sweetie is the priority. Mary arrived back in Ushuaia Monday night successfully having run the gauntlet of Argentine Customs agents with her allowable duty free import quota a fairy tale. Oh happy days again. Actually, yours truly didn't exactly hibernate during her time away but more on that in a bit. I met her at the airport with WARM clothes. She is the atypical yachtie sacrificing clothes for their extra weight so she could bring back more boat goodies. If you snicker at this, particularly you ladies, you'll see. Boat goodies are what keep our little white fiberglass world perking along. She brought back an Iridium phone set up for our French cruising friends, Racor filters and a running light for our South African/Scottish cruising friends, a Yamaha outboard gasket set for our Canadian cruising buddy, up to date charts for an American/Dutch cruising couple and of course, goodies for Egret. Yes, she brought back our new camera lense. (Today's pictures of Ushuaia were practicing with the polarized filter.) You should see these pictures in full resolution!! Beautiful.

Since distributing the goodies to the other boaters we have been puttering along with our own projects using the newly arrived tings. Mary has been cleaning her little home to HER standards, a bit higher than you know who's.

While she was gone it was a social whirl. First, it was a trip to Harberton Estancia (Ranch) with the Canadian single hander. This was reported on previous VofEs. Next was dinner aboard the Canadian's boat with a local charter sailboat couple (UK-New Zealand I believe), then we moved to the Frenchie's boat with the Canadian and an American couple, then to the shoreside home of a Brit/Argentine couple, back to the Frenchies when an Israeli couple who have been backpacking around South America the past year (they are 25-year cruisers-their boat is in Cartegena, Columbia), off to the Israeli couple's rented apartment for dinner, then to Egret with the leftovers the next night; Egret again with the American/Dutch couple and Mary, and tonight aboard the Frenchie's boat. Yes, it's a run-on sentence but you get the picture. This is very typical of The Life. Usually it is more cocktails than dinner in warmer places where we are outside but here we are inside plus it's getting dark at around 7:30 PM.

The dinner at the Israeli's apartment was dynamic. The Canadian single hander (20+ years at sea), French couple (20 years) and Israeli couple (25 years). As the newbie (5 years) I sat and just listened. It was fascinating hearing about the spots around the world they all enjoyed. To romanticize it a bit, picture the busy little bees (cruisers) taking a little nectar, leaving a little pollen from this beautiful flower (the world) and turning it into honey (memories). They buzzed all evening flitting from place to place. We ALL learn from each other. This is where ideas are formed for our future cruising. There is no rush for anywhere but the seeds are planted for the future. One particular spot they were buzzing around for a bit trading their experiences may well change Egret's itinerary on her way to New Zealand next year. We'll see.

The Israeli couple are typical of cruisers seeking other cruisers. They arrived into Ushuaia on a bus. After finding a place to stay they headed for the yacht club dock. Within hours they were assimilated into the small community of liveaboards and have been making the rounds since. This afternoon they are leaving with the Canadian for Puerto Williams, Chile because it is time for the Canadian to do the 90 day visa cha cha. They plan to stay a week there hiking and whatever.

We long distance cruisers are all one big family mi amigos. This is one venue where there is truly equality. It doesn't matter what you have or don't have, what boat, what nationality, no oneupmanship, etc. The cruisers who don't feel this way are missing a lot. Sad for them.

So there you have it, a few days in The Life. Ciao





 

 

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