Last sail with the Icebreakers

Lars Alfredson
Tue 14 Feb 2012 19:53

Pos 54:48.81S 68:18.38W  Ushuia


Urban followed by Peter


Hej !


   Ni som läst den engelska delen vet nu att vi har två krassliga ankarwinchar. Hur har vi löst detta? Lång tamp i stället för kätting. Stor blytyngd som hängs på tampen. Med hjälp av brytblock får winchen som hissar storen göra arbetet med att ta upp ankare. Inget kunde vara lättare. Målet för dagen är  Porto Williams. Vi måste dit för att klarera ut från Chile. Det blåser bra. Många vita hästar på havet. Ett uttryck engelsmännen använder sig av. Gäss säger vi.

  Med genua 2 gör vi goda 9 knopp. Rekordet för dagen blev 12.5. Solen skiner. Rundar en boj som finns för ett stort sandrev. Thomas fick order om att styra mot en röd båt. Lars säger plötsligt att de är nog lite grunt 3.5 meter. Thomas visste inte att de var så grunt enligt sjökort. Varför reagerar Thomas inte på detta ?  Många gånger har vi haft över hundra meter under oss. Ibland säger då ekolodet att den tappat kontakt ( normalt ). Ibland kan den visa allt från 3 till 12 meter på dessa djup. När det sista händer finns det ju en risk att det är sant. Sjömätningen här nere är det ju si och så med. Vi kollade faktiskt en gång med lod. Ekolodet visade 5 meter. Snöret vi tog var 20 meter. Ingen kontakt med botten.

    I Porto William får vi återigen traska upp till expeditionen för att klarera in och samtidigt klarera ut. Att utklarera innebär att tre myndigheter ska prata och stämpla. Marinen, tullen och emigrations myndigheten. Alla är inte på plats samtidigt. Idag är det söndag. Naturligtvis är det dyrare att klarera. När dessa uppdrag ska utföras gäller det att var mätt och belåten. Varje gång är en ny gång. Kvällen tillbringas på  Micalvi. Under kvällen får vi frågan om vi kan ta med tre personer till Ushuaia i morgon.

   Nu är vi på väg mot Ushuaia. Tyvärr kan vi inte bjuda våra passagerare på fin segling. Motvind som gör att det skulle ta oss på tok för lång tid att komma till Ushuaia. Men jag klagar inte. Peter kom precis med ny poppade popcorn och kaffe. Passagerarna tycker att våran vinterhage är en utmärkt plats att sitta i. Se vågor som skvätter över båten medan de sitter inne och är torra och varma. Som sig bör på en riktig Yacht.

   Inklarera igen. Först skriver en herre åtta papper för var och en med hjälp av våra pass. Där efter går Lars och en ny herre in i ett rum och gör om allt men nu skrivs vi in i en dator. Hungriga söker vi upp matställe med namnet Ramos Generales. Ett känt ställe som man bara måste besöka.





We woke up to another sunny day in Caleta Borracho and lamented the fact that there exists a life off the sailboat that we had to return to at some point. With heavy hearts and calloused hands we lifted the anchor for the last time (for some at least). This morning we had the anchor on a rope line and weight and it lifted easily with the help of the electric winch – who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

The sail back to Puerto Williams was pleasant with a 20 knot following breeze, number two poled out and full main. The rival Argentinian and Chilean Naval posts lining the Beagle channel along the way chirped back and forth.  At times it seemed like a competition to see who could ask more questions. Though, in the end, we felt that the Chileans had the upper hand as they were equipped with AIS, thus allowing them to hail us by name and not having to ask us to spell Delta Alpha Whisky November Bravo Romeo Echo Alpha Kilo Echo Romeo for the umpteenth time. We imagined the Argentinians in their posts green with envy over the smug Chileans sitting watching their shiny AIS screens.

During the sail back Peter was sitting on the can staring at his Splashdown foul weather gear hanging next to him in the Jacuzzi bath. He wondered at the designers of gear who could overlook such a crucial accessory as a hood. The number of greenies that rolled over the boat and down his neck during the Drake Passage made it abundantly clear that it was an absolute necessity. His next thought was how embarrassing it would be if he went home and returned the gear to its owners and they proved him wrong about the absence of hood. He comforted himself in the fact that battle hardened sailors with over 130 years of combined experience were unable to produce a hood on the jacket. But what’s the harm in checking one more time? Hallelujah! A hood materialized out of a zippered pocket previously thought to be access to the internal harness. Peter jumped for joy until it dawned on him the inanity of having use of the hood for a total of about 6 hours easy sailing out of a possible 4 months covering over 5000 nautical miles.  The crew got a good chuckle out of that one, doesn’t look like Peter will be living that down any time soon.

We arrived with plenty of time before the 5pm cut off for checking into the Puerto Williams. Last time we arrived at 5:10pm, and were required by the Armada to anchor off outside the port until the next day. This time we wouldn’t make the same mistake, as we were keen on some Piscos by the nice warm fire of the Micalvi, not to mention showers. The Armada is full of tricks, however, and this time slapped us with an extra $50 fee for arriving on Sunday, the day of rest. Which made it all the sweeter when Ton Ton caught out the officer in a bold-faced fabrication of further arbitrary rules. He claimed that it was ’absolutamente  imposible’ t o pay the port fees with a combination Chilean Pesos and $US, but our very own king of bureaucracy Thomas Heinman managed to produce our permit from the last entry clearly stating that we done exactly that. Unfortunately we had forgotten our boat stamp to triple stamp our new permit with and thus further cement our reputation of pencil pushing superiority.

We took nice long showers to reward ourselves for a good day’s sail. Everyone tried to catch up on some emails with the free wifi, though Urban and Peter’s progress was severely stunted by the tidal wave of Facebook updates from the furious fingers of Ton Ton. An animated discussion of the appropriate use of Maydays quickly turned to the topic of a certain English blogger who writes the tabloid of blogs for the unwashed masses. We couldn’t help but be appalled by his cavalier attitude towards life and death, and his profiteering from others misfortunes to boost his ratings with sensationalist headlines and grandiose stories. We can only hope that his readers will see through this grandstanding and turn to a more scholarly and respectable blog such as ourselves.

 Following a few Piscos Sours, Ton Ton introduced us to 3 new crew he had conjured up for the sail back to Ushuaia – two beautiful women and a friendly German guy. We were quite pleased with our negotiated fare of 2 rounds of Piscos, though I think the newcomers were even more pleased not to have to shell out $125 for the passenger ferry.  The four month drought has been broken, women have returned to Dawnbreaker!

Today we woke up in good time to get the boat ship shape and off to the Armada dock for refueling. After 5 weeks of Skip Alfredson stoking fears of fuel shortages and doomsday scenarios of running out of gas for the heater, it turns out we only used 232 liters of a possible 800 liters. After two near misses with loosing toes to frostbite in the frigid Antarctic, the crew had to bite their tongue over the enthusiastic rationing program.

Now we are beating into 30 knots on the nose, SOG hovering between 1.5 – 4 knots, and hoping to get in before nightfall tonight. Though we considered ourselves fortunate after hearing on the radio that the Port in Peurto Williams was closed all together shortly after our departure with 50 knots of wind.  Now off for a photo shoot on the bow with Peter’s new and improved foul weather gear to prove that he did, in fact, find the hood. At least with the white horses galloping over the boat, we won’t need to stage the bad weather with the aid of the deckwash pump as the crew had discussed earlier.