Back in Puerto Williams and the Micalvi (an intentionally sunken ship grounded in the harbour) again has become our local bar. The slightly sloping floors helped ease us back onto land gently and the wood burning stove warmed our cold stiff fingers. Elinca is now rafted up alongside a whole load of expedition boats all doing exciting thing. Right next to us (and dwarfing us) is Pelagic Australis a 75 foot aluminium sloop that is the base for adventures around the Chilean Channels, Antarctica and South Georgia. It is the perfect boat for the job with a big inside wheel house with windows, a lifting keel and rudder (meaning she draws only 1.2 m with the keel up) and cosy saloon with a reflex heater and massive bookshelf. Her design means that despite her size she can squeeze into small anchorages, perfect for nosing around the dubiously charted south. Sadly if you want to charter Pelagic Australis it would be 12K per person per month but if you had the money she would be the boat of choice.
Next to us on the other side is a Halberg Rassy 43 ft ketch with every possible modification under the sun. She is from Finland and her crew are on their way to Greece via Australia and Cape Horn. We suggested that there was a quicker way but they think this is more interesting. The skipper has just passed his 200,000 mile mark… respect.
By one of those odd twists of chance the boat in-front of us is skippered by ex OYT skipper Tom Bastable. As we tied up we heard a Bolton accent shout ‘eh Boycey’ and there he was. Tom has been sailing down the world the relaxed way stopping and living in the counties her visited on the way. He now speaks three languages and he and is now working with his girlfriend on Santa Maria (a wee boat that runs charters around the Chilean Channels). We’ve invited them over for Haggis Supper this evening so I’m sure there will be wine and lots of catching up.
On the other side of Micalvi is a really small double ended sloop with no engine. Aboard this boat are an American couple and their massive black dog. They have been sailing from Sanfransico (without an engine) and have been living down here for two years!
Tonight is new year! and we plan to host a Hogmanay Haggis Supper on the boat and then retire next door to Micalvi for drinks. I imagine the blog will be late tomorrow but we’ll try not to be too late as we all want to be up for a New Year swim and a walk up the hill.
For anyone who was wondering if we ever did find life in Puerto Toro. That’s a negative. Yesterday it rained and we motored the boat around the corner to the ‘most southern village in the world’ whilst some of the crew walked over the hill to meet us. We saw no-one and left after a couple of hours for the bright lights of Puerto Williams.
Happy New Year to all at home!
Happy Birthday to James Auntie Veronica.