With high winds over the Falklands our flight was delayed by a day in Punta Arenas and although it gave me a chance to reacquaint myself with the town after 10 years since our 2007 Antarctic trip, it did mean we had lost a day's preparation.
This was compensated by our discovery that all the tropical weed that had fouled the hull so badly since Ecuador (despite our best efforts to clean it by diving on the hull) had “fallen off” in the cold water conditions in Port Stanley.
Novara had ridden out the worst of the winter gales but sadly a particularly bad storm from the north had caused the boat to heel over sharply and the rub rail had suffered some superficial damage on the cleats on the low pontoon.
Sails changed, new batteries fitted and the old ones donated to Zac’s son (Zac had looked after the boat in my absence) and 101 jobs completed to say nothing of the mammoth task of provisioning for 7 hungry guys.
We moved over from Camber Dock to the FIC jetty to be close to town and the supermarket but with little room it was something of a tight squeeze to get a 60ft boat into a 59ft gap!
Our departure was delayed by gale force winds but it did give us the opportunity to take up the offer of dinner on Pelagic Australis and spend time with old friends Alex and Ghiselle Hazel, the skipper and mate from our 2007 trip.
With a forecast of winds decreasing down to 20kts from the NW and a settled period for 5 days we plan to leave early on Wednesday 6th and hope for a fast downwind passage.