Not Raining, Getting Ready

Despite the recent rant about the rain , sometimes , like to day, the weather is brilliant. So sunny and so warm , that I got out the paint to do some paint repair. The foredeck paint patch was reinforced with white epoxy. The coal tar epoxy applied in Easter Island has stood up well.

The lower ends of the standing rigging were showing a little rust. However it was not real rust , just a mix of volcanic ash and some grinding slag from a steel project when we were tied up to the dock in Estancilla. Even so I applied some epoxy to the cable and the eyes ,avoiding the turnbuckle threads.

Richard L. has purchased the boat next door , an Island Packet 370 , well equipped but totally new to him. So far he has repaired and made a new switch for the bow thruster (!) , re-built the toilet , been hoisted up the mast to replace a destroyed spinnaker block.He is also learning how to sail a Laser , in preparation to taking his yacht out into the roaring forties. Think about that.

In addition to painting , I made a cover for the windlass , so perhaps less rust from the chain will stain the deck. I also made a high tech heater stove intake chimney cover , from a red pastic bowl. We were getting some sea water down the pipe in rough conditions.

Also I had made a new bow protector from checkerplate aluminum , for enhanced ‘yachtiness’ and to prevent the 55lb rocna anchor from damaging the paint any more.

The rowing shells are constantly on the river in fairweather or foul.

The turtle came out to warm in the sun.

The yacht club marina looks different in the sun.

The Danish yacht ‘Pi’ has left to head up the coast towards Peru. They really need 5 or 6 days of south wind to get far enough north to avoid north winds from the next front. This time they won’t have it , but they wanted to get going anyways.

For our south bound trip we only need a 24 hr window to get to Canal Chacao. Our best bet might be to head out on the tail of a North wind from a front and get there before the south wind strengthens too much.

I have been using a grib file reader called Zygrib for weather maps , which seem really good and fast , from the internet.

The other factor is the Chilean Armada , which keeps very close control over all marine traffic , so much so that the communications themselves require a significant amount of time. We shall see how that all works out.

Hoping for a little more dry, warm weather, in Valdivia.

Late August in Valdivia

The first photo in the slide show is from last week when we drove back to Puerto Varas to pick up our re-galvanised 20 metres of chain. Logistically this was a big project. Would have been easier to send my chain down on the bus. In the end it cost me only about $50 for the galvanising , but about $60 for gas money.

Gloria came with us for the day. Gloria is traveling for a couple of months around South America and trying to use the Couchsurfing network. We have an empty pilotberth. Meredith organised it and it worked out well., for 3 nights. Then she headed off to Chiloe Island and eventually Ushuaia.

Next photo is from my new local pub , now that I am in town. The Ultima Frontera is a great and trendy restaurant pub with 6 choices of draft beer and 2 woodstoves. It lies north of the marina about 4 or 5 blocks. These guys just happened to be playing one evening , and are probably on youtube somewhere , judging from all the recording equipment.

Then there are 4 photos from last Tuesday’s edition of the Diario Austral newspaper in Valdivia. The Valdivia Yacht Club is hosting the world championship for a sailing dinghy class called the Pirate, next January. Competitors are coming from 15 different countries , many in Europe. It is a big deal , and they received some government funding, hence the newspaper coverage. The Manager and President of the club happened to pose in front of the Silas Crosby for the publicity shot.

Also the volcanic ash continues to spew to the east of us , but from a different volcano, and it still makes the local news.

The last page discusses a local glaciology conference with international attendance , and a photo of the Campo de Hielo del Sur. The southern icecap in the Andes is huge. I remember reading Eric Shipton’s account of their crossing in the 1960’s. Also Tilman made a foray onto this icecap from his boat ‘Mischief’ , I think a few years earlier (Mischief in Patagonia).


The previous blog might be a bit of a mystery. Livia on a yacht called Estrellita has a couple of websites dedicated to interviews of people out sailing in small boats. Mostly this is for dissemination of information to other cruisers. She asked interviewees to post the answers to questions on their own website , then she will transfer them to her own website.