12.21.11 Update on Freya
Loc: Puerto Williams
Acc: Miguel’s Hostel Yagan
Dist: 9,3 km
Start: 14:15 End: 16:00
I got picked up be Juliet from my room in the Prefectura at 9am, and got greeted by the Jefe de la Prefectura Ushuaia, Prefecto Mayor Héctor Daniel Vera. I was thanking him for his hospitality and for the friendliness and helpfulness of the Argentinian Prefectura in general on my whole trip, but was refusing to see a TV crew yet…this has to wait until I am really *paddling* into Ushuaia!
Juliet and I got driven by a Prefectura car to the immigration office, and as my visa was expired already and had to be extended to the possible 6 months I had to pay 300 pesos for the fee. Basically no problem, but we had to pay the fee at a bank in town…so driving through the lovely city again, just to find the bank with a queue of maybe 100 people waiting to make payments or to get money paid…
But the queue was moving amazingly fast, we may have been waiting for 20 min, got the job done, and drove back to the immigration office, and I got my passport and paperwork to leave Argentina. All good!
I would have loved to go strolling around town, as Ushuaia is really an inviting international, almost European like mountain town with lots of fancy shops and restaurants.But this has to wait as well until I’m paddling into Ushuaia after Cape Horn is done! Then I’ll take really a few “days off in the city” without work only…to reward me for half time of the
first leg of the trip…
Juliet was taking me only now quickly to an outdoor shop where I was purchasing a new pair of woolen warm socks, a polar fleece bandana and a thermos bottle for hot water to reheat my feet during the day . All things to keep me warmer in the southern area!
A big thanks to Juliet, one of the only two female Prefectura officers in Ushuaia! She was doing a great job on guiding me around, and translating all the time into perfect English. Go, Juliet! You’ll make your way in the Prefectura!
Back to the Prefectura, Atilio Mosca, a yachtsman and kayaker and contact person from Alejandro was waiting for me with a parcel from Buenos Aires - my new spare Hilleberg Staika tent, the footrest and complete rudder from my spare kayak (as the parcel from epic USA never arrived…) and a few little other things like warm shirts. This at least worked out well! Thanks to Atilio and Alejandro!
Time to drive back to Alamanza! Two Prefectura officers were my company, and in Almanza I quickly changed to launch for the short hop across the calm waters of the Beagle Channel! It was more or less raining all day, with low hanging thick gray clouds over the high mountains.
I was waving goodbye to the Prefectura guys and Argentina – see you one last time in Ushuaia in two or three weeks! A Prefectura boat was started to escort me across, but amazingly they didn’t really follow me, were just ready in case I may be capsizing on the millpond
It was a great feeling on this short paddle! Chile – I’m coming! Cape Horn - I’m coming! I probably paddled with a big stupid smile all the time until I spotted a small Chilean Navy boat coming up to me to greet me! Nice!
You must imagine a very old big Navy boat serving a a Clubhouse now, and as a mooring base for all the yachts from all over the world arriving here to sail Cape Horn and Antarctica! About 20 well-sized yachts, just one over sized one had to stay moored outside the river entrance…
I got greeted on land by the Chilean Navy Captain Vega, and he invited me to see the really great clubhouse from inside, and to wait for the custom immigration officers to show up! Perfect organizing…two Chilean immigration officers stamping my passport and paperwork at the bar of the Club Nautico! Thanks!
Next to come was an officer of the agriculture (or such…) to check about importing fruits, soil, plants…any contaminating things…nothing wrong here…form filled out, and I was done with the paperwork!
My local contact of Jutta, Osvaldo and Theo from the Polarwind yacht unfortunately left just yesterday for another Cape Horn loop, but they may be back the next few days already. I got offered to stay in the nice and clean Hostel Yagan from Miguel Villa, a former Navy member, for a small fee. Good choice!
Miguel drove me up to his hostel, and I made myself at home with a hot shower, laundry, and a well deserved nap before I woke again to type this…no paddling the next few days! Fortunately the weather won’t be very inviting anyway for now…
I’ll see the people at the Club Nautico tomorrow, and will do a visit to the Port Captain to confirm my paddle around Cape Horn and to get as many informations as possible.