The 2020 season is off to a good start.
As I had to work in Vancouver until mid-December, the plan was for Gary to single-hand the boat from Puerto Montt to Puerto Aguirre, a distance of about 300 nm. I would then fly into the tiny town of Balmaceda and make my way to Puerto Aguirre via minibus and ferry. A chance email to friends Ty and Hillary, who we met while sailing in Mexico back in 2017, resulted in them flying down from Seattle to help with the delivery. As they are hoping to sail Chile in their own boat in a year or two, this was a good opportunity for them to see a bit of the country and to figure out how things worked. A win win for all.
|The Dreaded Destructo Ball
After returning to the boat from a three week land trip in Peru with Gary’s parents, aunt and uncle, Gary went into overdrive trying to finish various tasks and put the boat back into the water. The Crew arrived a few days later, and after a flurry of activity provisioning and doing last minute jobs (ie, putting on the sails etc) they left the marina at the end of November. They had a few easy days enjoying the pastoral anchorages around Puerto Montt and Isla Chiloe. Then the weather began to change and a few hard days ensued. Luckily the Crew were up for absolutely anything and everything.
|Gary with the new line
|Ty trying to stay warm
After many hours of travel, I met up with Gary in the small town of Chacabuco on Sunday night (the Crew left to go home on Saturday). He then gave me the second piece of news regarding the boat. Upon arriving at the dock in Puerto Aguirre the day before, the throttle cable (ie, the gas pedal for the boat) snapped. Ty and Hillary had the lines on the dock and asked him to put the boat in forward to move further up the dock. Gary put the boat in gear and… nothing. No forward movement. He was incredibly lucky that it hadn’t snapped 30 seconds earlier as they were docking into a 30 knot headwind and he probably would have put the boat up on the rocks before they got the manual throttle down below sorted out. Lucky. But now we had to find two specialty parts while in a very remote location in Chile!
We have many spares and repair material for most things on the boat but in 20 years of sailing we’ve never had any issues with these two so we had spares for neither item. Neptune’s laws go as follows:
Law number 1: If its going to happen, its going to happen out there
Law number 2: If there is a bad time for it to happen, it will happen then.
Law number 3: No matter how many spares you have on board, the thing that broke won’t be one of them.
I know there are other Neptune’s Laws but repeating them is known to be a method of invocation so we’ll leave the list there…
As for Ty and Hillary... Hopefully we didn't colour their dreams of sailing to Chile by keeping the boat too cold and making them sail in crazy conditions.
|Ignacio wants to know if they will be back???