Where Next?
Bob Williams
Wed 20 Oct 2010 23:45

Moored Bahia Quintero
Wind light, variable
Weather: Mostly overcast, mild

I finished painting the bit of deck and cockpit that I had started on our arrival in Quintero, which concludes a lap around the deck and means it is time to start again - coach house, foredeck, side decks, cockpit, then aft deck with soime varnishing in between just for some variety. Of course the maintenance of any boat never stops, and especially an old steel boat, but Sylph isn’t looking too bad and with luck this next lap around the upper deck will be less work than last time.

“Squawk, Meowargh!”

Old Bob Cat just missed his footing trying to get out into the cockpit, excuse me, got to go and give him a bit of a leg up.

Poor old fellow.

The paint pots are now stowed, I have been ashore to the Port Captain for my zarpe to Concon, ten miles south of here. A permit to travel 10 miles is a bit rich but when in Rome … The military in Chile keep things under pretty tight control it seems. This afternoon I was talking to a member of the yacht club here, who is a pilot, he travels overseas a lot and sails in many places. He said here the Armada won’t let him out the harbour when the wind is over 20 knots, too windy, where in New Zealand for instance it is considered a nice sailing breeze. And today they wouldn’t let him out because the swell was too high. I guess this is the heritage of a country post military dictatorship. We agreed it would probably take a couple of generations before the military would hand over to civilians many of its current functions such as port control

There certainly has been a bit of swell today, nothing to stop a boat from going to sea but it has had Sylph rolling slightly and this afternoon it upset my dinghy. Normally I have secured the dinghy to a ladder alongside a stone wall but the swell was heaving against it with a bit of force so instead I tied the dinghy up to a pontoon where the club keeps its launch. When I returned this evening I was very concerned to see one of the yard hands pulling my dinghy into the launch. It seems it got caught under the bridge that connects the pontoon to shore and filled with water. Fortunately no damage was done, good sturdy extruded plastic, nor was anything lost - in particularly I worry about losing the oars, as they would be difficult to replace around here.

We will leave in the morning and with a bit of luck will get into the marina tomorrow afternoon. That will give us a couple of days to settle in and hopefully find someone to keep an eye on Bab the Cat while I am away. And then Sunday I will fly to Buenos Aires to collect the long awaited new headsail.

All is well.

Bob Cat:

Most undignified, I guess I have to accept that I am no kitten anymore, and the skipper trimming my claws has not improved my agility at all, that much harder to hang on to anything. Still it has been a nice day, I have spent nearly all of it out on the sun deck, very nice it has been too. But no tuna today. Oh well, evening draws on, there is a gentle breeze out on the patio, I might just …. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz