About Us

Welcome to our blog, describing our voyage aboard Bravo, a Kelly Peterson 46 sailboat with homeport in Seattle, Washington. We headed south in 2010, destined for Mexico and beyond. Cheers, Adam and Cindi

"As for me, I am tormented by an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts." -Herman Melville, 1844

Monday, January 14, 2013

Back aboard Bravo, readying to cruise!

After leaving our friends the penguins we headed back to Punta Arenas, and then on to Ushuaia, "el fin del mundo", or "end of the world".  Punta Arenas had a very cool recreation of several famous ships in an industrial wasteland on the shore of the Strait of Magellan.

The heavy hitter around these parts, as you could imagine, is that good ol' boy Fernando Magellan.  This Portuguese explorer is "da man" in Patagonia, lending his name to bars, restaurants, plazas, penguins, and even his own bloody Strait, fer cryin' out loud.  One of the ships we saw recreated was one of Mag's ships, the Nao Victoria, typical of the five ships in his fleet which departed in 1519.  An amazing full scale recreation of the ship, down to very fine construction details, the tubby ship is anything but sleek, and in fact looks like it would be a struggle to get out of it's own way, when compared to ships built even 100 years later.  But Magellan was a helluva sailor and navigator, and with these tiny, primitive, boxy ships, he and his crew managed to circumnavigate the globe.  (actually Magellan never quite finished the trip, as he was killed by natives near the Philippines while trying to convert them to Christianity...who's religion was stronger......hmmmmmh??)

Cindi and Diana try on the armor for a staged sword battle.
James Caird
Other boats and ships to were in various stages of construction at the site.  One interesting little boat was the James Caird a modified lifeboat from the Endurance.  This was the boat that Ernest Shackleton and crew sailed 800 miles from their shipwreck camp on Elephant Island to South Georgia Island, where the eventually rallied a rescue to go back and pick up the remaining men.

Beagle's line drawings
Another ambitious project that the crew on the shore of the Straits of Magellan is just starting is the recreation of the HMS Beagle, the ship made famous as the one that brought Charles Darwin to the Galapagos, as well as traversing the canals and straits of the patagonia area (Beagle Channel, for example).  This is a big ship, and a much greater undertaking than even Magellan's crude ship.  They've set up a blog to follow progress, it will be interesting to see how they fare.  These projects have received much acclaim from wooden boat lovers all over the world, including Seattle and Mystic Seaport.

Laying the keel of the Beagle

Antarctic cruise ship and cargo ship on the left, shipwrecked tug on the right.

Penguinos on steroids....sign on wall of a gym in Ushuaia.
After Punta Arenas, we bused down to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the Americas.  Actually it's the closest city to Antarctica in the world, about 600 miles, and is the point of departure for many expeditions and cruises to the southernmost continent.  We saw numerous cruise ships, as well as sailing expedition boats getting ready to head out.  One sailboat had a butchered side of lamb strapped to each side of their radar arch.  It'll keep pretty much frozen at the latitudes they're heading!!!  Kinda sexy bit of boat storage that we don't often see in the tropics!!!

Some of the antarctic sailing fleet in for r&r.
It's said that if you kiss the native's toe beneath the statue of Magellan, you'll return one day to this magical land...What did we have to lose???

But like all good things, our patagonia adventure drew to a close.  We loved traveling down here at the "Fin del Mundo", and would very much like to return one day, perhaps aboard Bravo.  We headed for the Ushuaia, and hopped a plane north to Buenos Aires, where we said our goodbyes to David and Diana.  We spent about a week more in B.A., trying to get back to Ecuador.  Unfortunately it was the week before Christmas, and like everywhere in the world, all transportation was booked.  No buses until MID JANUARY!!  We finally had to fly back to Quito, and on to Bahia where Bravo was waiting safe and sound for us.  After over 2 months on the road, it felt terrific to be back aboard.  The boat list was drawn up of chores to be finished before we leave Ecuador.  Somehow the list keeps growing!!!

Adam working on rigging project at the top of the mast.  Always a great view!!!
But the days have been really busy, with plumbing, rigging, electrical, electronics, and engine projects, and of course provisioning the boat for the next several months of sailing in the South Pacific.  Even had to squeeze an overnight trip to Quito, to the American Embassy, to add pages to our passports.  Many countries await our visit in 2013.   We're also really looking forward to friends Emily and Kevin coming down to join us on the passage to the Galapagos, and spending time together exploring once we arrive.  We'll be leaving for the Galapagos in about 1 week, and will probably spend around 6 weeks in the islands before heading south to French Polynesia.

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