We left Piriapolis early on Wednesday morning, saying farewell to Sandy and Brian and motoring out into the mist. The skies soon cleared and we had a good wind, using the gennaker at times to keep up our speed. Unexpectedly the afternoon wind was from the southeast - rather than northeast - but that didn't matter until we approached our destination at about 3pm. In the meantime we caught another fish like the last one. It was identified as a bluefish by Marco, our friend on Ilha de Santa Catarina. Confusingly it's called an anchova in Portuguese but is much bigger than what we know as an anchovy.
I de Flores, in the approach to Montevideo - all this water is less than 9m deep and getting browner as we enter the River Plate
Puerto del Buceo, where we are now, is east of the main port of Montevideo and home to the Yacht Club Uruguayo. The entrance is open to the south and the depths shallow quickly so we had to pick up a visitors mooring near the entrance, helped by a yacht club boatman. The southeasterly winds had set up some swell so we were rocking and rolling for the rest of the day!
On our approach we had called up port control but they were not interested in taking any details from us. We went ashore to check in at the coastguard office and were told that all we needed to do was call on the VHF when we came and went. We filled in a brief form at the yacht club, helped by a friendly man who chatted away in rapid Spanish, with us only managing to catch a few words. Asking about wifi we were taken into the very posh yacht club premises where the receptionist spoke English.
Overnight the swell reduced and so we called up the club launch and went ashore on Thursday. We met a Club member who spoke English and asked his advice about finding a replacement boom. He pointed us to the chandlery shop in the Yacht Club premises. It's a small shop but well stocked and to our surprise we were told they have a boom that may suit, with a bit of adjustment. We will see it on Monday.
A dredger called Janice and two self-propelled barges fight a losing battle against silting
Afterwards we did some exploration locally, finding a big shopping centre called Montevideo Shopping. For lunch we treated ourselves to a Uruguayan speciality, chivito, a heavily garnished steak sandwich served with chips. It was so filling we didn't have room for an ice cream - another Uruguayan passion even in winter.
Buceo harbour - Yacht Club Uruguayo is the tall building!
Yesterday was a wet day with strong northerly winds at times. We went ashore and had lunch in a nearby fish restaurant that our guidebook said was good. We ordered their speciality "Symphony of fish and seafood". It was delicious but even a half portion was so big we regretted having breakfast and couldn't eat it all. Afterwards we stocked up with fresh food from local shops because we are now getting southerly winds so we are expecting an uncomfortable 2 days on our mooring and difficulty getting ashore.