Day 150: A change of plan

The Egret crew decides to spend a bit more time at the bottom of the world

Position: 54° 48.80S 68° 18.36W 
Ushuaia, Argentina

Scott and Mary Flanders left Gibraltar on 16 September, and we’ll be following their journey every step of the way, thanks to this unique online “blog”. For the first instalment of their diary, click here .

Big day today. First, the picture is of Ushuaia as seen from Egret’s anchorage. The scuttled tug in the foreground is a sad tale. We don’t know the dates or specifics but the story goes the tug went to Antarctica to rescue a cruise ship in trouble. In horrific weather the tug tried its best but in the end failed. All three hundred aboard the cruise ship didn’t make it. The tug limped back into Ushuaia and sank where she rests from her rescue effort battering. Another testament to the weather down here when all doesn’t go well.

On a happier note you can see the town of Ushuaia with the Cordillera Darwin (Darwin Mountain Range) in the background, the tree line down to the town of 35,000. Best described as a typical ski resort with main street shops, restaurants and supportive businesses on the side streets and parallel streets. Ushuaia serves the ski season in the winter (northern hemisphere summer) and the adventure cruise ship and adventure charter sailboats in the austral summer. The local restaurants’ two specialties are Fueguan lamb butterflied and roasted over wood fires and centeillo (king crab). The Argentine government has made Ushuaia a duty free port to encourage fellow Argentineans to vacation here and they do. People from all over the world come here for the Antarctic cruises. We ‘locals’ avoid main street during most of the business hour days with cruise ships in town. We soon learn when and where to eat or shop.

Today has been spent boat bound on anchor watch with anticipated 50-70 knot winds. Fortunately we haven’t had winds over 45 knots. No biggie. Egret buried TK twice with 250′ of chain out (22′ of water) and double snubbers. We worked on the watermaker today of course breaking a plastic pipe nipple we don’t have but do have in bronze if we can’t find one ashore. Hopefully back together all will be well. Tomorrow’s trip ashore in the rubber dinghy will be like Cape Horn in a Sou’wester. Great.

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Mary and Master Angler Steve are busy with Indiana Jones while the wind howls. Indigo, a 105′ megayacht anchored close to Egret is skating around like Peggy Flemming in the wind. When they took on fuel today to meet their schedule it took a small tug to assist with fueling in the wind. Ho hum. Egret’s next fueling will be on OUR schedule, in calm weather and will last until next spring.

Speaking of next spring. Today we made the decision to winter over in the DEEP south cruising the Chilean Canals and bouncing back to Ushuaia for provisions from time to time. New Zealand will still be there. We are working on plans for next austral summer before leaving on Egret’s northbound then westbound route to New Zealand. We have a saying in fishing: You don’t leave fish to find fish. We simply can’t leave this last unspoiled cruising area in the world without spending time here. We can’t just ‘pop’ back in like so many destinations around the world. Getting here is too difficult. For the curious or those interested in coming here themselves we would NOT repeat Egret’s route south down the eastern South American coast. A much easier and faster route is make your way to the Galapagos, cruise south, west of the coastal Humboldt Current, turn left at Valparaiso or Valvdivia, Chile then south through the Chilean Canals. Much faster, much safer. If Egret ever returns in the future this will be her route.

So there you have it. All cruisers’ plans are written in sand at low tide. We now plan to arrive New Zealand in December 08 instead of 07. We will keep writing about Egret’s adventures while cruising this beautiful area. After the past few months we need a break from running hard. We can’t think of a better place to relax and enjoy unspoiled nature. Wish us the best as we wish you the best. We hope you all are working on your ‘little white ship’ plans. It will change your lives as it has ours. Adios.



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