Change Of Crew in Ushuaia – Snoo py Has a New Friend

Mina2 in the Caribbean - Where's The Ice Gone?
Tim Barker
Wed 22 Feb 2012 19:51

Position: Ushuaia, Beagle Channel, Chile

Date: 19 February 2012


I’m afraid I’ve been very lax on the blog front. This one was part prepared a few days ago and finished just now. I will soon update you on the start to our second cruise of the Chilean fjords.


We arrived back in Ushuaia a couple of days ago, feeling rather nervous. The Pirates of Dawnbreaker had declared war whilst accepting our hospitality on Mina2 by stealing Dolly Mk2 from our backstay and replacing her with a tin of Heinz Baked Beans relabelled “Dolly Mk3”. They then upped the anti (sic) by writing highly derogatory remarks about my blog on their website. I quote:


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.”


You, Dear Readers, the unwashed masses? I can almost see you blanching at the insult. And so was I. How very dare they.


Of course, this is all driven by jealousy. They had heard that Mina2’s blog was, in January, the most-read cruising sailor’s blog in the universe with a hit count that reached many thousands (true, thanks to you all). Dawnbreaker’s ranking, on the other hand, was pathetically low. To see why, have a look at A great loss of Scandinavian face.


But such scurrilous accusations cannot pass without comment, so I managed to hack into Dawnbreaker’s blog and posted a correction, together with a link to Mina2’s blogsite so Dawnbreaker’s few followers could see what a proper blog looks like.


It took Dawnbreaker less time to discover my hacked posting than I had imagined. They were incandescent.


As we approached the quayside in Ushuaia, the whole crew of Dawnbreaker were there waiting for us, bristling with indignation but, as we drew alongside, I waved a white flag of truce (perspicaciously handed to me by the DS sensing the ugly scene that was developing). Everybody fell about laughing, and the coarse reprobates of Dawnbreaker and the sophisticated crew of Mina2 are once again the best of friends.


The day before yesterday our wayward daughter, Selina, left after our memorable first two-week cruise of the Tierra del Fuego fjords. I pretended I was sorry to see her go, but after the usual divisive tantrums on board, and particularly after she tried to rip my carefully nurtured Antarctican beard from my face, frankly I was glad to see the back of her. She can go back to her yurt in the UK and good riddance.


What a shame she didn’t get to meet Andrew, our latest crew-victim, who arrived 24 hours later. We’d not met Andrew before. He is the son of the brother of a close friend. Swiss/Argentine, he arrived after a long journey from Geneva.  Charm personified, he came loaded with thoughtful goodies – multiple bars of the finest Swiss chocolate, nut cakes, and home-made cookies baked by his girlfriend. The only contra-indication is that he has a beard. Never trust a man with a beard - that’s what I say. Also, disturbingly, he drinks nothing but water – no tea, no coffee, no alcohol. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. On the one hand he won’t be drinking me out of boat and home like the Three Drunks but, on the other hand, can you really trust a teetotaller? But, as an indication of his sensitivity and thoughtfulness (so lacking in Selina) he brought, being an avid Mina2 blog reader, a little friend for Able Seadog Snoopy - an adorable, cuddly Swiss St Bernard dog.


ASD Snoopy got frightfully overexcited. Immediately they began sniffing each others bottoms, and in no time “Bernie” was licking Snoopy almost to death. Snoopy was in heaven. He’s been on board for four months and has been craving a bit of dog company.


Tomorrow morning we say goodbye to Christine & Fernando who return to Buenos Aires (Fernando having almost reached the end of my long list of “Things For Fernando To Fix”),  and the DS and I, with Andrew, ASD Snoopy and Bernie clear out of Argentina once again and flog our way back to Puerto Williams to clear back into Chile for our Chilean fjord cruise Mk2 for the next three weeks.