Yet another party to report. It turns out that if you take six yachts who have just reached land after a challenging Drake crossing, tie them up to each other outside the Micalvi Yacht Club bar, light a BBQ and turn up the music then chaos ensues. Steak, ribs, pisco sours, beer and stories of the last months adventures were flowing and the time just flew by. Some crews saw the sun rise and some skippers, on leaving the Micalvi when it finally threw us all out at 6 am, had to step straight on to their boats without touching their bunks and sail straight out into the Beagle Channel to begin the next day. Not so on Elinca as today (Sunday) we had called a day of rest. The crew rose at a leisurely 2 pm and made pancakes before heading out to explore the town. Those who retired earlier last night were already up and about whilst others (I’ll leave you to guess who) had not yet made it back to their own boat. As today has largely been devoted to eating, coffee drinking and cleaning up I’m going to have to write about yesterday.
When I left off writing we were just on our way up to the tiny sports hall where one Chilean man had a basketball and no team to play with. Elinca provided him with a team and in the enthusiastic, slightly violent, game that followed only minor injuries were sustained and there was no clear winner. A very sweaty crew returned to the boat to journey on up the Beagle to Puerto Williams. On the way we cooked our king crab and unidentified white fish. The crab was amazing with just 30 minutes boiling in slightly salted water and then cracked open with various implements from the tool kit (turns out we have 8 sets to pliers on-board) and dipped in garlic butter. The strange white fish was wrapped in tinfoil and cooked in the oven. It was delicious and really fresh. Even James, who usually bypasses the fish option, was impressed.
The plan for the rest of the week is mostly to prepare for the next trip. The current crew have offered to lend a hand and we’ve got to get the boat stocked up for the next step… the trip to the Falklands and South Georgia. We are both excited and apprehensive about the next month. On the one hand everyone we have met so far raves about how beautiful the Islands are and that there is just nowhere like it in the whole world. On the other hand they tell to expect constant winds and frequent gales with challenging anchorages. We’ve been gathering list of the other skippers favourite spots and their favourite hiding places when the weather gets rough. Don’t worry, Elinca has proved herself again and again to be a good boat in a strong wind.