Arrived Mar Del Plata

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Mon 21 Dec 2009 22:33
Position:  38 02.47 S  057 32.30 W
Alongside Mar del Plata
Weather: Sunny, mild
Day’s run:  40 miles
Yesterday’s headwind backed and eased later in the afternoon and soon we were close hauled on the port tack and laying Mar del Plata, but as the sun made its daily rendezvous with the western horizon so the wind returned to wherever it comes from and we were left a few miles short of the harbour almost becalmed.  I pondered the option of staying at sea for the night but the arms of Morpheus beckoned so we flashed up the iron headsail and motored in to the strange harbour.  I roughly knew where we had to go.  I ever so slowly crept along, every now and then stopping the engine and drifting, having a good look around and getting my bearings.  We eventually found our way into a small bay and as I puttered around thinking perhaps picking up a mooring or dropping the anchor might be a good idea I heard a whistle from ashore.  I shone the spotlight in the general direction and found someone waving at me.  They were beckoning me to enter the narrow entrance to the yacht harbour.  A launch came out and guided me in.  Thus at 22.45 I noted in the log “Alongside ?” for I really had little idea where I was.  I was grateful when I called the harbour control and they advised that I could complete formalities in the morning.  I slept well.
This morning the usual running around ensued including lots of funny hand signals., drawings on scraps of paper, and trying to communicate in a very limited vocabulary with lots of people in uniform.  Eventually we were cleared in.  I am becoming more uncertain as to whether to mention BC, to date every customs official has shaken his head. waved his hand at the proffered papers, said “No, no ..” and avoided looking at me, which I have taken to mean that this is too complicated and best left alone.  Nonetheless I thought I had best be play it safe and mention the “gato” but once again got the standard response.  So BC has been an illegal immigrant most everywhere we have visited outside the US so far.  Seems a nice little irony in that somehow.
This afternoon I contacted the local sail maker.  He inspected the damaged headsail (what was my no. 1 headsail) and agreed the cloth was no good and the sail was not worth repairing.  He cannot make new sails for me until March (nor can I really afford probably more than one new sail) so the plan is for him to inspect both the no. 2 headsail and the mainsail and see if we can give these an overhaul (the mainsail for a second time) to give them the best chance possible of surviving down south.  He will also take the measurements and if necessary we can have sails made later and sent to wherever I happen to be.  I think this is the best we can do for now.
All is well.
Bob Cat:
A good night’s sleep followed by a rewarding day’s work.  We Americans have always been pretty relaxed about immigration laws so why anyone should feel fussed about an innocuous creature such as I, well - they’re just not getting enough . . . . Zzzzzzzz.