Mary returns from her trip ladened down with gifts and both she and Scott start to plan the next leg of their voyage

Day 552: Mary and Scott reunited

Position: Oxxean Marina Puerto Montt, Chile (yup, still marina queens)

Scott (YT) and Mary Flanders (MS) left Gibraltar on 16 September 2006, and we’ll be following their journey every step of the way, thanks to this unique online “blog”.

Mary returns from her trip ladened down with gifts and both she and Scott start to plan the next leg of their voyage

Sunday 16 March

Well, mis amigos, big news – Mary is back. Oh happy days. And all our boat goodies made it through customs without being tossed aside at the airport in Miami. We now have things like 3M buffing polish and Biobor fuel additive. The ultimate test will come in just over a week when our additional crew member for the Chile to Tahiti leg, Frank Sain, will attempt to bring us some white gelcoat paint for Egret. The boat company that was such a bit part of our lives when we were back home still uses the same colour and manufacturer that we used on Egret. Between one disastrous attempt to Med moor in Barcelona and the trials of Ushuaia’s dock in high winds our little white fibreglass home needs a bit of a touch up. It is straightforward to touch up gelcoat but finding the perfect match is not. We do have tints on board to help us create our own mix but it would be nice to use gelcoat that matches straight out of the can. We’ll see.

Mary also brought me back a new Nikon camera and a new Canon camera for our Swedish buddies. They disappeared like two kids with theirs and we did the same. A little later, when we had both mastered the beginnings of how to use our cameras we met up again to compare. I’ll spare you the details but we are all happy with our purchases. Today’s pictures are the first with the new camera. The first picture shows our Swedish friend, Bjorn from Lindisfarn (Linda’s Farm) and his new toy. Bjorn and Annika have a great website (in English and Swedish) with pictures of their Antarctic trip www.sailaround,info which is worth a look. The second picture shows a weekend fisherman tending his nets. He rowed out and made an early morning set, retreiving the net shortly after catching a number of small fish.

With Mary back the social whirl continues. Our Canadian friends on the steel sloop Ave del Mar left yesterday just as we returned from the airport. We could still see them as they set sail south to spend winter in Ushuaia. They have so much to look forward to and will be touched forever by their experiences over the coming year. Our Scottish friends left by air and they will return in September to sail south. A new sloop from New Zealand arrived a couple of days ago after a difficult 39-day passage from New Zealand. They had to drop down to 50 degrees south to find wind and when they did find some it was a bit much. Their boat, Kiwi Roa is a beautiful 50ft aluminium craft. The owner, Pete, designed and built the now popular Rocna anchor. Pete built his boat some years ago in England, doing all the work himself. Pete’s wife is flying in shortly and they will spend at least a year in the Deep South.

Monday 17 March

Tonight is potluck up at the marina cruisers’ den. We have a couple of Antarctic movies taken from two boats, which we may watch but we’ll see how the usual boat talk progresses. The other day we were talking with some yachties about the cumulative knowledge on the dock. Barring personal opinions there is an amazing amount of information being shared freely among all the boats. Shared practice is how we all learn, together with our own experiences.

Frank, who will shortly join us is selling his N40 Darlin. It has crossed the Atlantic twice and made many other trips with no end in sight. It is a very well equipped and maintained US-built passagemaker. Go to www.nordhavn.com if you think you may be interested.

Tuesday 18 March

It’s now Tuesday morning. Last night’s potluck was great fun and informative. Pete from Kiwi Roa gave us a thorough description of New Zealand cruising, including South Island and Stewart Island. Later on he described his experiences in the western Pacific, including some of the far out places they travelled in the ten years they spent cruising that part of the world. Every day puts Egret closer to leaving and we can’t