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Out for some work

Finding Nemo

Ich muss ehrlich zugeben, ich hab die Nase ganz schon voll von dieser Großstadt. So sehr ich mich verliebt habe, so sehr reicht es mir auch. Mein Sohn Julian wird wohl nicht kommen. Vielleicht ganz gut so, weil mir steigt die Arbeit langsam übers Limit. Wenn ich nur wenigstens reich dabei werden würde. Aber wer wird schon reich mit einfacher Arbeit. Nun setzte ich mich heute morgen wieder in den Bus, fahre in die Stadt, zum HBF, weiter nach San Isidro im Norden, laufe mir die Füße platt um Nemo zu suchen. „Wie? Nemo?“ Genau. Nemo suchen. Die Yacht NEMO of SWEDEN. Die wissen es zwar noch nicht, aber sie brauchen ein PACTOR und was für ein Zufall, ich habe eins im Rucksack ;-)

Klar war ich gestern wieder in einer Milonga, hab mal wieder einen Kurs mitgemacht, aber das war mir dann schon mal zu einfach. Gutes Zeichen? Ich finde schon. Am Dienstag hat mir Rebecca, meine neue Lehrerin erst mal naserümpfend, gesagt, dass ich mit den Schuhen nicht mehr kommen soll. „Aehm!“ O.K. Dann weiß ich ja schon mal was ich morgen zu tun habe. Eigentlich ist morgen frei. Nur die wichtigsten Sachen nach dem Frühstück auf die Reihe bringen und dann „mal eben“ nen paar Schuhe kaufen.

Das Modem auf der NEMO of SWEDEN war schnell installiert. Ein ICOM706. Kleinigkeit. Aber warum sendet der nicht? Nach nem bisschen Knöpfchen drücken merke ich, das der nicht auf ist, also für alle Frequenzen offen zum Senden. Ein MUST on a Sailboat. Die Jungs, Andreas und Martin, wollen in die Antarktis. Da wird ihr Iridium sie verlassen. Andy schaut traurig. „Ja, ich kann das.“ Lötkolben hab ich dabei. Kiste auf. Doch ich hab meine Brille nicht mit. Ich sehe nur verschwommene SMD Technik. „Ne, so geht das nicht.“ Andy leiht sich nen Brile vom Nachtbarn und schwupps ist die Diode raus. Patient lebt. Connected mit 2800 Baud beim ersten Versuch. Kunde glücklich, Modem verkauft. So soll das sein.

Da wir grade schon mal beim Thema sind, ein Erfahrungsbericht von Marc. Auch nen Kunde: „On my side I have spent almost 2 and half months in Antarctica and I am back in Patagonia since mid March. The trip to Antarctica has been fantastic and above expectations; we have been south of the polar circle (66° 33') and the sceneries were unique. The trip back from Antarctica has been delayed a lit bit due to weather conditions (2 weeks of waiting in the archipelago of Melchior islands doing kayaking and a lot of walking across these islands). On the way back we have got some wind (unexpected thru the grib files!) for around 12 hours (50 to 60 kts across ) but the boat is strong and well prepared so it did not affect our course and speed so much. Jacques is now back to Uruguay and Buenos Aires and I don't have any news from him... I have spent one month in Ushuaia to clean and maintain the boat and I am currently stuck in Puerto Williams by lows after lows hitting the area ( the new record for max wind has been registered last Monday with 160 kts (!!!) at Cape Horn which is not far from my current position...). End of May I will fly from Puerto Williams to Santiago and Europe for 3 months and be back end of August to prepare the next leg (Malvinas and South Georgia) in October and November before moving up to the Pacific side thru the Canales (Chile) early 2012 and slowly going away from these cold areas. The SSB is working very well (including the Pactor modem). We have been hit by 2 or 3 failures (between 2 and 4 days of breakdown to every boats using Sailmail around me) of the server in Chile of Sailmail (at the worst time : ie when Grib files were really needed deep south in Antarctica). In addition I found out that the antenna was not suitable (as you had predicted in Piriapolis) as it was installed (coupling with the backstay!) and in deep south it was quite tricky to get connection and grib files! I have fixed it 2 days ago between 2 snow storms in Puerto Williams. The result seems very nice and it has improved the sensitivity on receiving as well. In addition to Grib files I am now also using weatherfax (most of the time it remains of poor quality), voice forecast (in spanish in the canales), and much more reliable the Navtex (518 kHz) which is of great help these days.“

No comment. Marc ist einer von denen die meinten mit Iridium wäre doch alles kein Problem. Hat er was von Iridium geschrieben? Nep.

Mit der LunaWLANnet hat sich ein Problem herausgestellt. Sinkt die Spannung unter 12 Volt, steigt sie schon mal gerne aus. Hmm. Aber das Problem ist geringfügig, weil meist ja doch mehr 12,5 Volt im Bordnetz vorhanden ist. Ich habe schnell ein Spannungsstabilisierung gelötet. Die Bauteile waren zufällig an Bord. Für diejenigen, die damit Probleme haben, gibt es die demnächst als Option. Also erst mal für die LADY. David hat die WLAN Antenne mal neutral im Garten getestet. Guckst Du da: http://www.rancho-relaxo.at/?m=20110505

Trockengefallen

Gestern hatte ich keinen Bock irgendwas zu schreiben. Was aber passiert ist: Es gab nen bisschen mehr Wind, zwanzig Knoten, aus NW. Was passiert? Das Wasser im Rio de la Plata wird rausgedrückt und die LADY steht mit 10° schräg im Schlick. Hmm. Ist ja nicht ganz so toll. Ne? Ich unterhalte mich mit den Marineros und erfahre, dass der ganze Hafen schon mal trockenfällt. Ich schaue nicht schlecht. Da muss ich noch mal drüber schlafen. Die Schweden haben eindeutig den besseren Platz aber auch zum doppelten Preis und ohne das schöne Gefühl eine gute Flughafenanbindung zu haben ;-)

Und weil wir grade dabei sind noch nen Erfahrungsbericht von von Michelle und Penny vom Kap, auch PACTOR Kunden: „With snow, the bluest skies we'd ever seen and a lone sailboat tacking up the Beagle Canal. We were in separate seats. I looked back to Michel he looked to me and we knew that one day we too would be seen doing the same. Two years later on February 4th 2011, we rounded Cabo De Hornos (Cape Horn) in our own 42' Whitby, 'Passe-Partout'. We cracked a bottle of champagne. Before doing so we managed to make a landing and that can best be described as bizarre, laughingly funny, exhausting and just a little unreal. We had recently had conversation with a fellow cruiser in Ushuaia who with distain expressed his refusal to do the 'Horn' claiming it as being too commercialised, for want of a way of putting it. That is, signing the visitor's book in the lighthouse keeper's residence, taking the photos, receiving a stamp in your passport, souvenirs, etc, etc. Well, more fool him because he missed sailing the waters legends have been made of. He missed seeing dramatic landscapes and rocks carved into sculptures by unrelenting and violent extremes set against huge Patagonian skies. And to come this far, and be so close. Caleta Martial is about eleven nautical miles from the Cape and a renowned anchorage for waiting safely for an appropriate time to make the island and famous sail past the Cape itself. We planned to stop there as it was too late in the day to continue on to Cape Horn. While approaching Paso Bravo, a narrow cut between two islands close to the anchorage, we glanced back to see a monster sail boat, its gigantic mast poking holes in the clouds, bearing down on us a foaming wake at the bow indicating much speed. They motored by, no sails up, giving us a friendly wave and a somewhat mournful blast of their fog horn and raced ahead. We later heard them being hailed by the Armada (Chilean Navy) as to their position and they were already on their way back to Puerto Williams (the first Chilean town for checking into Chile after leaving Argentina) informing the Armada they had 'done' Cabo De Hornos. We felt that trivialised the whole event and almost lent credence to the comment made by the cruiser mentioned earlier. We had visions of the guests on board, obviously a charter boat, flying back home the next day to New York perhaps, and describing to their friends their hair raising experience in Tierra Del Fuego. Good for them. We dropped our anchor in the solitude of Caleta Martial Sur (south) as north was occupied. We thought we might make a landing and take a bit of a hike up the hill in front of us. Fat chance. Upon closer inspection we noted the vegetation along the water's edge was so dense it would have been nye on impossible to penetrate unless possessing four very short legs and the hide of a rhinoceros to burrow underneath. The islands were formidable in their austerity. The trees, shrubs, grasses and bushes small leafed, course and thick-skinned to survive the filthy weather and freezing temperatures handed to them almost daily. Dotted on numerous islands are Armada Naval bases/houses, their occupants charged with keeping a close eye on and staying in contact with the increasing numbers of cruisers and charter boats venturing into the area. To live in such a harsh and isolated environment perhaps with time, they also become thick-skinned. We ended up staying an extra day there. Michel was determined to sail Cape Horn and not motor around as so many end up doing. It is actually quite surprising how often it can be flat calm. In so many photos we have seen it that way, However, the next day, February 3rd there was too much wind even for our liking so we took the opportunity to do something we don't do often, we relaxed and enjoyed a movie in the warmth and security on cozy Passe-Partout. After much observation of the weather, a subject that dominates our lives daily, Michel had noticed a pattern. Calm in the mornings with the wind picking up in the afternoons. We had decided to have very early starts to our days, get underway between 4 and 5 am to perhaps find safe harbour by late afternoon, early evening. So far it seemed to work well. Friday the fourth appeared to be a good day for 'Doing The Horn'. It was a truly stunning dawn, mirror calm with subtle pastel colours putting a virginal blush on the cheeks of a new day. Main sail up we stared motoring to Isla De Hornos. We hoped to be able to make a landing while it remained calm then circumnavigate the island afterwards to round the Cape when the wind picked up, sailing of course. It's always good to have a plan. According to the Bible of all Patagonian cruising, an excellent book with a compilation of just about everything you could ever wish to know about cruising the area, anchoring in Caleta Leon to go ashore the island is not a good idea for numerous reasons. At one time the Armada had been good enough to provide a heavy duty mooring for boats to tie to. This was no longer there but the chain still remains coiled on the bottom among the rocks patiently waiting to ensnare the anchor of visiting yachts. It has happened and requires diving to untangle the mess. Can you imagine the temperature of the water? Sudden wind shifts are frequent and the anchor holding is bad in the extreme. It is suggested someone stays on board the boat at all times bobbing around, the engine running while the crew take themselves to shore. Not so easy when there is just the two of you. We anchored, our technique lacking its usual flair. Nearly one hundred meters of chain was dumped unceremoniously in a pile the hope being the weight alone would keep us in place for the duration. While in the office of the Armada in Puerto Williams doing the paperwork before departure, Michel chatted with a French charter skipper who had been to Cape Horn many times, asking him if he would anchor in Caleta Leon? His reply was, "Well I wouldn't do it". Michel didn't tell me that until later - much later. We launched the dinghy in a challenging swell our noses to the air hoping to have the instinct to sniff out a change in wind direction. All thoughts of a relaxing landing were long gone. Already our actions were minus their usual smoothness of familiarity and were slightly jerky, but not yet frantic. We grinned nervously at each other reminding ourselves we were having fun. We raced cautiously to shore where waiting for us to arrive was the young lighthouse keeper soon to be introduced to us as Miguel. The rocks were round and smooth and slippery as a banana peel and the surge shoreward meant an undignified scramble, Michel making heroic efforts to keep the dinghy bow on, for me to disembark, while filling his boots with icy cold water. It would have been impossible for me to land the dinghy on my own had we chosen to take the recommended method of landing. Miguel sympathetically laughed while watching Michel pour water out of his boots and even more so when he started squelching his way up the many winding steps to the top of the cliff. We were given our own private escort and even better still, we were the only ones there. There was a little more wind when we reached the top but observation showed the anchorage still very calm and nicely protected. Whew, so far so good. As we followed Miguel along the wooden walkway to the lighthouse every-so-often Michel would give a furtive glance back to see Passe-Partout and a reminder to me that we would not be staying long. I was on my knees by this time taking photos of some of the beautiful mosses and lichens, red berried, and white flowed plants growing low to the ground which when stepped upon was spongy and soft and very earthy smelling like peat. Miguel and Michel chatted along nicely and we were told he and his pretty young wife Kathryn with their young son had lived on the island going on ten months. He seemed relaxed and content with his life. When we reached the summit, Miguel left us to observe the pretty little chapel Stella Maris where we spent inside a few moments thanking Mary for getting us there in one piece and asking her to keep an eye on the boat for us just a little longer. 'We'll only be an hour,' we stated. Every which way we turned the view was enormous, the end of the world spreading out in front of us unchallenged and unbeaten. We'd come a long way to see it and felt very satisfied that we had. No regrets. So we signed the book, had our passports stamped got fleeced for our souvenirs, and raced along the pathways to take photos of ourselves at the Wandering Albatross Monument. At one point Michel left me to go check on Passe-Partout. He walked briskly down the path towards the steps. That walk turned into a trot, the trot to a run. Oh Lordy, don't tell me, I breathed to my self. But he came back. He had expected to be able to see the mast as he had made his way down and when he couldn't, had become worried. She was okay but there was some urgency not to stay much longer. As we made our way back down there was no doubt there was a little more wind although Passe-Partout appeared to be perfectly happy and nonchalant. We on the other hand we not. In our haste we fumbled getting the outboard back on its rack off the stern and finally had the dinghy in place on the foredeck to then start bringing up the anchor. There were so many things to get in order on deck we laughed at the absurdity of arriving here after two years planning to rush around manically for how long on shore? Are we nuts? The dead weight of twenty three meters of chain hanging (the depth of water we dropped anchor) was enormous and exhausting work for the windless and us as it was manual labour only. We were sweating in 5 degrees Celsius pumping up all that chain and in truth I was not much help. It was too difficult for me most of the time. Ask us how many links in our chain? Just as we got ourselves back into our fully enclosed cockpit, the rain and a little more wind came. We congratulated ourselves on our timing, our planning and our luck, or was it Mary - again. We motored sailed up to the northern tip of the island, scooted round the top, stopped the engine and started sailing. The western side of the Isla De Hornos shows all the evidence of having being harassed for millennia by wind and rain, ice and snow all that mother nature is capable of producing. The results are startling sculptures sharp and pointed and huge free-standing-rocks with holes hollowed out. The atmosphere is clear and glary and colours in all shades blend and mold themselves into every crevice giving a unique texture to the landscape. We did sail around Cape Horn. We popped our bottle of champagne and smiled happily at each other as the bubbles tickled our noses. We munched on our treats we had bought just for the occasion and set the self-timer on the camera taking photos of ourselves adorned with a gold hoop in our left ear (passing the Cape west to east), the serrated edge of the Cape in the background complete with albatross waltzing gracefully in the wind. We sent an email to our family and friends via our Single Sideband Radio and hugged and laughed together congratulating ourselves for our achievement. We had gone through much to get here, all the more reason to admire and respect the sailors of old. As I write this now we are sitting out a howling 45 knots at the anchor (on the Argentinean side of Canal Beagle) not far from Puerto Williams where we will stop for a day or two perhaps to take a breather, check in with the Armada again and buy some fresh bread. There is much ahead of us yet. Three cheers Passe-Partout! Obviously this was written a while ago because is is now 16th April and we are far north of Cape Horn, Puerto Eden, 49 07S 74 25W making slow progress to Puerto Montt. Happy Easter Everyone, our love to you all. Michel and Penny




  • 21:23:00
  • 05.05.2011
  • 34°32.2992'S, 058°27.1256'W
  • 0°/0kn, Berth
  • Yachtclub C.U.B.A., Buenos Aires, Argentinien
  • VAR
  • 168°/1012hpa/37%
  • 14°
  • 4kn/VAR
  • 0,0m

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