Noon Position: 34 54.34 S 055 16.57 W
The breeze continued to blow fresh and fair all yesterday, and I reckon there was a bit of a following current just to kick us a long a wee bit faster. We made excellent time running wing on wing averaging close to seven knots and found ourselves approaching Pariapolis around midnight. The last leg was an excellent sail; the sky was clear, the stars were shining brightly, the offshore breeze was fresh and cool, carrying the scent of the land, and the seas were flat. After a couple of weeks at sea my hearing and sense of smell become more sensitized than usual, I could smell fresh cut grass and of farm animals mingled in with it, it reminded me of the Royal Agricultural Show my family attended every year when I was a child. And the cities, as one approaches them their deep resonant hum can be heard many miles out to sea. But once ashore one soon becomes acclimatized again however and I can no longer hear and smell these things. I sailed as close in to the shore as I dared in the dark in an unfamiliar area and with out of date charts, then started the engine, dropped sail and cautiously motored towards the small harbour. I had called the harbour control a few time on VHF, at one point received a response but it was all in Spanish so I had no idea what was being said, I wasn’t even sure whether it was me they were responding to, so with little idea of where to go we slowly nosed our way into a nearby beach and came to anchor for what remained of the night.
This morning I awoke to find the wind calm and the sea flat. How perfect I thought, we carried a fresh breeze yesterday right up to our port, and then when we needed to anchor the wind faded away and gave us a perfect night’s sleep. It helped me to feel very positive about the start of the day and the start of my visit to Uruguay. After breakfast we weighed anchor and motored into the small boat harbour where I was promptly directed by a couple of figures ashore to come alongside a stone wall. This duly accomplished I was pleased to be greeted by a pair of French cruisers, Juan and Sarah, they speak excellent English and have been very helpful in sorting out the usual bureaucracy that accompanies arrival in a new country. It took a trip out to the airport to clear immigration and despite the language problems (I really must make an effort to learn a little bit of Spanish) everyone so far has been very friendly and helpful. Initially when I went to the bus treminal I asked for a ticket to the the 'aeropuerto', which they duly gave me. It was a bit more expensive than I thought and as I sat and waited and pondered, the more I thought about it the more concerned I became that maybe I was going to the wrong place, especailly as the return ticket was open for 90 days. I went back to the counter and had another go. Just as well too, they thought I wanted to go to the Montivideo airport which is a 100km away, as opposed to the local one which is only about 10 km away. I have just returned and am looking forward to dinner and a glass of Uruguayan wine with Juan and Sarah.
All is well.
Nice and still, a bit of early sun in the cockpit - very nice, overcast and cool now, good for finding a cozy nook to sleep in. All these strange sights and sounds around me all of a sudden. The skipper has been away for much of the day, so nil pats, most unsat., think I will go back to sleep . . . Zzzzzz.