It’s been busy on Elinca in Ushuaia for the last few days. Most of the crew from the last leg have now left and so there’s been a big tidy-up and clean of the boat. Seven of us have been onboard since Europe and so it was sad seeing them leave. We pumped 1200 litres onboard and so we’re now full of fuel and ready for the next Antarctic trip. Most ports have a fuel berth and they can pump the diesel into you, like in a car petrol station. However there aren’t enough boats in Ushuaia to make this economical and so a truck delivers fuel in 205 litre drums and there’s a special trolley to take these along the pontoon. We then use our own pump to transfer the contents of the drums into Elinca’s tanks.
We’ve done a rig check and run a spare halyard down the mast in case one breaks. Many people were involved in a big shop and so we’ve got all the food for fourteen people for 25 days in a very cold environment where you need to consume more calories than you do in the UK (i.e. we have to lots of cake – yummy!)
We’re moored on the outside of three boats and the inside two boats are due to leave over the next two days. The crew on the inside boat are currently at the Prefectura doing the paperwork to leave Argentina for Antarctica. When that crew gets back we’ll leave the pontoon so that they can sail and then we’ll go back alongside the pontoon. There are then just a few jobs to complete before Elinca is ready for the next crew to join tomorrow.
I’m leaving Elinca tomorrow for a month in Argentinean Patagonia. I’m planning to do some walking and hopefully have a week of Spanish lessons in Bariloche. It’ll be sad to leave Elinca and miss out on her trip to Antarctica but I’m looking forward to coming back refreshed for South Georgia and the return trip up the Atlantic.