Estamos practicando nuestra espanol! We are practicing our Spanish. Especially Clare who has to talk to the coastguard every day. They do not speak English and so we have had to learn new words like depth (calado), length (eslora), people aboard (tripulantes abordo) etc. Luckily Clare had Spanish lessons solidly for a year before the trip to brush up on her A level (which eight years on was very very rusty). The Spanish learning process was helped infinitely by the luck of being given a mexican PhD student to mentor, Fabiola. In return for lessons in science Clare got help with her homework and a whole load of useful vocab. As well as Fabiola her only other tutor was the Harry Potter series. Unfortunately those are the words that really stick in the brain. In every day convesation theres not much use for ”varita” (wand), ”encantamiento” (spell) or ”lechuzaria” (owlery). Never mind.
Today we went up a glacier. Its safe to say that it was the furthest that any of us had walked since Rio and some of us stuggled. It was cold and crisp and beautiful and there was a cafe half way up to help us refuel. It was our first opportunity to throw snowballs! From the top there were views all the way down the Beagle Channel and of course accros the other side to Chile. It was so good to be off the boat after the full day of work of the day before.
We have had our first weather forcast for the coming week. It looks like its going to be windy midweek so that will slightly delay our departure to Antarctica. Thats OK though as we plan to check into Chile (a lengthy process involving half a day of paperwork to exit Argentina, a short sail ( 2 hours accross the Beagle) and then half a day of paperwork to clear customs on the Chilean side). We can get all this done whilst the wind blows through and then be ready to leave as soon as it has abated. Checking into Chile means that when we go to Antarctica we will go from Chile and that we will be signed into their search and rescue system which is very good. It also that we will be able to anchor around (and maybe land on) Cape Horn on the way there and back. Very exciting.
(Pictures to follow later today)