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.

At the Valdivia Yacht Club (Club de Yates Valdivia)

The first photo is of Jorge Bravo Rodriguez , the manager of the Valdivia Yacht Club. Most mornings he and I meet in his office , sometimes with Marc who is from Belgium, and we have a conversation in Spanish. Often about the  history , politics or culture of Chile. Ostensibly these sessions are to help me improve my Spanish skills. Often , though ,enthusiasm for the content accelerates the speech delivery and I get lost. Originally I was to help Jorge learn some English. However he is far more interested in hearing my Spanish improve than he is in learning English. Marineros come and go and club members phone or visit, so I get to hear a lot of conversation. It is difficult to be sure but I think it is good experience. Much appreciated by me.

The second photo is of the building called a ‘Quincho’ , the shape of which is based I think on a traditional Chilean building. Originally thatched with mud walls they served as a cooking area. This Quincho is the socal center of the yacht club.

The 3rd photo is of ‘Silas Crosby’ moored next to an Island Packet 37 named ‘Bly’. Interesting story about this boat. Made in the USA but purchased in Holland by the original owners. Then swapped for a piece of land in Chile. The 2nd owner , a South African/Swede/American/?? brought the boat from Europe to Uruguay , then subsequently , very quickly around the bottom end of South America to Valdivia. From where it has not moved since last January.

Richard L had sold his property and business in Leeds , UK and flew to the New World for a more rural existence. He was going to buy land , but sometime he realised that it perhaps might not be so idyllic. Instead of buying land in Chile he bought this yacht , from the same vendor. This yacht ‘Bly’ is fully outfitted for sailing anywhere in the world , and is only 6 or 7 years old. So that’s good. However the new owner , Richard, has never been on a boat in his life and is entirely uncontaminated by previous knowledge or experience of boats or sailing. This is a radical move , to purchase your first offshore boat to go sailing in southern Chile. I have loaned him a book or two and it will be great to watch how things go. We discovered that the 18 kg stainless steel anchor had a bent shaft , to about 45 degr. Needs to be straightened , and a second larger anchor obtained. The Bow Thruster doesn’t work. Porobably not really necessary on a 37′ boat , but if he is going to drag it around it might as well be working.

Good Luck , Richard!

The next 2 photos are of Richard standing in front of spring blossoms in Valdivia, and another in the computer department of a dept store in Valdivia. He is communicating  waht he feels about department stores and what he feels about computers. He made his living in IT and was a mainframe programmer for years.

The next photo of the interior of our boat was taken a couple of hours after Meredith returned from her epic South American travels. It was also my laundry day and stormy rainy weather, so a bit crowded

The next 2 photos are of paintings on the wall of the yacht club office. They are by Maurice Cloughley , who with his wife Katie cruised the oceans of the world in the 1970’s and 80’s and apparently visited Valdivia. He taught for many tears up in Canada’s Arctic. Their boat was ‘Nanook of the North’, a beautiful ~ 34′ wood yacht. I rmember reading one of his two books many years ago.

I also remembered some darker aspect to his history.

Here is a link to an article about his sentencing for child abuse crimes while working as a teacher in Canada. I think they now live in New Zealnd where he was born.

The last 4 photos are of a large framed map,also on the office wall, of the route through the Northwest Passage of the Belgian yacht ‘Williwaw’. Willi de Roos was the first to take a yacht through the NW Passage.He was solo. I remember when he came in to Vancouver and tied up in False Creek. Looks like he came to Valdivia , and I guess that was after his NWP transit.

Adrian , on Attila is waiting to leave Valdivia for a non-stop return to Panama. He’ll return in a year to head for the Antarctic , after saving some cash. However the weather is not cooperating , with a lot of strong north winds in the next week or so.

We will stay around for 2 or 3 weeks more , before heading south.

That’s it.


Boats so far in Chile

There are some interesting boats around here. See the photos at the bottom.

‘Pi’ is a Danish one-off  fibre glass boat that has sailed north from the Horn region. Their Volvo engine died in Caleta Tortel and had to be replaced. A remote and difficult job that took 4 months. They have gone home for the summer to visit grandchildren etc.

‘Windpsalm’ is a Westsail 32 with Brock aboard who is originally from Toronto. He has lived and worked as a tugboat mariner in the Carribean for years and wants to get back there. He spent last winter in Prince Rupert. He hopes to sail south around the Horn to get back to the warm seas. He does really long relaxed passages. 80 or 90 days is not unususal for him. He arrived in Valdivia via the Marquesas.

‘Kaili’ is an Esprit 37 (Perry design) with Tim aboard. Four years ago Tim sold his mountain property in NE Oregon and bought Kaili. He re-rigged her and bought new sails. With no experience he set off. Four years and 75,000 miles later he is in Valdivia and wondering how to make a few bucks to keep cruising. His sails are pretty much worn out and when he leaves here it will be with only a trysail and staysail functional.

‘Sequitur’ is a Hunter49 from Vancouver. Michael and Edie have come down the coast with offshore legs to Galapagos and Juan Fernandez Islands. He bought the boat new and had a lot of gear installed by the agent in Vancouver. The installations were apparently second rate and they have been plagued with electrical and mechanical problems. Alwoplast yard here has been hired to repair the problems. Michael points out that there have been no problems with the hull , rig , steering, or main engine. They keep a fairly detailed blog which can be googled.

‘Imaqa’ is an interesting boat. Designed and built entirely by her French owner , she has just returned from the Antarctic. The boat has a swing keel and 3 rudders ( all steerable) along with a bow thruster. 17 m long  and bare aluminum.

‘Pacific Eagle’ is a brand new 57′ Chris White catamaran just launched next door at the Alwoplast yard. She has left for Australia. A sistership flipped over last year near Niue in a really big gust. Of course lots of them haven’t flipped over as well. And it didn’t sink.

‘Le Mamejou’ is an Ovni 35 aluminum boat from France. Fred is an engineer I think for the Toyota racing team. He bought the boat new for about $400,000. Insurance is about $4000 per year. He was previously inexperienced (who wasn’t?) . At Puerto Natales he was caught by strong wind against a rough quay and sustained damage to the topsides, including a puncture or two to the toe rail area. He also had his hand caught between the boat and dock and was injured , but retained all his digits and their function. He will sail to Papeete in Tahiti for definitive repairs , to the tune of 15 or 20 thousand dollars. Meanwhile, gumpucky keeps the water out. No heater on his boat.

‘Curare’ is a Bowman 36 with Geoff and Linda aboard from Vancouver. They sailed here via Central America , Galapagos (where we met them) , and Easter Island. They have gone to BC for the summer where they work as geologists.

Next season I think they are sailing farther south. They left Vancouver in 2007.

The last boat is ‘Attilla’ owned by Adrian,a Hungarian , with his crew Annique. He bought the boat , a HansChristian 34, for cheap cheap (like about $20,000) in Guaymas after years of neglect. Time and money and he is cruising. Their project is to sail to the Antarctic next season. Tiny little wall mounted wood heater. Great dodger.

Annique has left her own cruising boat at anchor in the Carribean while on this expedition.

Adrian was struck in the eye by a swivel on his fishing line (not the hook) and damaged the little muscles that constrict the pupils. This was several months ago. They were on their way to the Antarctic when it happened and they diverted to French Polynesia to get the eye checked. He may be able to get this repaired in the future , but in the meantime it gives him a certain characteristic appearance that fits with the project at hand.

While in Puerto Montt we had coffee aboard Biribi B with Mani. He is a Finn who has benn inj southern Chile for about 20 yrs and has no plans to leave. He initially came as crew on a Finnish boat via the Antarctic. He met his wife in Tierra delFuego , she was singlehanding her own boat, and they sailed together for many years. She died of cancer last year at age 70.

We also visited ‘Bolo’ a 45 or 50 ‘ Australian aluminum boat owned designed , and built by her owners. They sailed around the world in the 70’s in a 28’ steel boat. This new boat also has a lifting keel with one rudder but also has 2 skegs. They are heading south , but not to the Antarctic. No photo because it was pouring rain.

I’m sure we’ll see a lot more interesting boats as we move south. I never get tired of them.

Who could ? Right ?