Untied dock lines about noon from Mar del Plata. Picked up a reaching wind as we pointed south. Late in the day spotted magnificent “cigar” clouds.
Predictions vary but all seem to agree there are no gale force winds between us and where we intend to go. One prediction says there are 12 ft seas and 20 kts wind about 100 miles from us…we shall see. The entire 6 member crew is aboard and we are doing final provisioning and preparations.
January 4, 2010
So, we are all anxious to sail. Part or no part, we are set to leave in the morning with the tide. We need the high tide so our keel will clear the marina bottom.
It would be nice to have this part so that oceanographic measurements can be made in an area of the world where this sort of data taking I am told is not the norm. But we will leave without it if we must. The backup plan is to have one of the main sponsors bring it when he meets the boat in Chile just before rounding Cape Horn.
**Note for students: Is the moon upside down in the southern hemisphere compared to what you see in the northern hemisphere? Explain your answer fully.
Horacio took me to the beach after we ate a late breakfast. I was as comfortable on this beach as on any beach I have been on. The reason for this is that my perception of folks was that they were extremely comfortable with themselves and others. The very young and the very old co-exist in the same area. .. for example I saw what could have been an 80 year old woman in a bikini. I picked up no stares, no sense of body type shame/guilt, just ease with everyone. The beach was very full too! I had a real sense of peace.
The beaches here have blue (& white) canvas cabanas standing side by side, in rows, high on the beach. They are rented annually for about $2000 each generally. Folks use them as shade, places to sit and to change.
There is a part that is needed and has not yet arrived. One reason is likely because it was sent FedEx and not DSL. Furthermore, adding yet another port for it to be forwarded to only delays its arrival further. Nonetheless, it is a part that is critical to the science data taking that has been uninterrupted up to Punta del Estes Uruguay (from Punta is was a day and a half sail to Mar del Plata). This part is required to make oceanographic measurements such as temperature, salinity, oxygen content, etc. . Mark is expecting it to arrive on the 4th or 5th. This puts the schedule behind 2 or 3 days but it seems sensible to wait for it as taking these measurements, I list above, is a very important focus of this voyage. Even though we are looking forward to getting underway, the weather is settling down here in Mar del Plata and it is a pleasant place to stay.
Happiest of all New Years to all for 2010!
We make final provisions for the sail to the Malvinas/Falklands tomorrow as stores are closed today. I have been staying on the boat with Mark and Logan. The other three crew members come aboard tomorrow so we are ready to leave Sunday morning. The boat is cozily docked at the Yacht Club Argentino.
Dec 29, 2009
The flight left a bit early from Miami and enjoyed a tail wind most of the way south. I managed to get 3 or 4 hours of sleep on this red eye flying bus. We landed, without hitch, in Buenos Aires. It was very warm, I had to peel my sweaters..finally getting down to my short sleeve shirt when outside walking to get the bus to the “domestic” airport to the south of Buenos Aires on the water – my first glimpse of these waters. I am waiting in this local airport until my flight leaves for Mar del Plata this evening at 8. I have left a message for Mark Schrader , Captain of the Ocean Watch, alerting him I am nearly there. No reply yet, so we will have to see if the boat is actually in yet.
Arriving in Mar del Plata and taking a cab to the waterfront, Ocean Watch could not be spotted. The driver checked with the naval base attendant and he called around. Nothing. So, I took the taxi to a hotel recommended by Carlos, the attorney, I met while waiting in line to board for Mar del Plata. Carlos spoke American and was able to help me navigate the taxi scene. Carlos recommended I stay at the Dos Reyes Hotel. They had a room and I booked two nights.
Dec 30, 2009
I managed to get a good night sleep and will go out this afternoon to search for Ocean Watch if I am not able to get the concierge to call the Harbor Master.
Dec 31, 2009
I found the boat yesterday! It is docked at the Argentino Yacht Club. I checked out of the hotel Dos Reyes and moved my gear onto the boat just in time before all went out to eat dinner at the little Club restaurant.
Finding her was a bit of an adventure. I took a taxi to the area where the Prefectura’s office was said to be located and walked to find it. After walking past all the restaurants, I made my way toward the water and my first stop was in a building with folks having an office party. I walked in. The man I spoke with left me to find a woman who spoke American – I found out she lived in the States for 3 years. She took me next door where we made contact with the right folks to find the boat-customs. Once it was assured that the boat was in, this woman and another drove me to the boat! This is how I found it.
Today some Mar del Plata media folks are expected this morning. Our schedule is to leave for the Falklands Jan 2.
No problem flying from Seattle to Miami. Unknown to me is the fact that Alaska Air flies into Miami at the T gates. These gates are separate from the D gates. Separate enough that one has to leave sure areas and re-enter and go through security once again. I managed to negotiate all that in spite of the fact my flight to Buenos Aires was an hour and a half after arriving. My checked bag from Seattle was checked all the way through.
Just before the American Airlines flight to Buenos Aires left, the gate attendant played a wonderful tune on an elongated gourd with a type of wisp. He sang what later he described as a traditional Argentinean New Year’s celebratory song. In any event it was beautiful and all applauded and smiled when he was finished.
It’s a bright clear and cold day here in Snohomish County. It is quiet in our neighborhood and Cate and I are going over final preparations for me leaving in the morning. I made my class webpages and thought they were functional to discover this morning that only part of the pages functioned properly. The new technique I am learning is revealing my imaturity with it. I made some corrections this morning and hope my students will be able to follow my organization.
I remain very excited about seeing the southern night skies…seeing the Southern Cross and other new, for me, star clusters. I have wanted to sail these waters for at least 2 decades.
I leave two days from now on Monday afternoon! I will try to make a longer post tomorrow after I finish as many preparations I am able to do to cover my classes and have Cate time.