I flew out of Cape Town on 28th August; leaving the crew to make the final preparations to “Pelagic Australis” for her pre-season delivery trip to Stanley. Skip wrote about that on the Pelagic website here.
Paula met me in Santiago where we had rented an apartment for a few days via the Airbnb network.This was our first experience of using the system. It’s a great way to find cheap short-term rental apartments; basically you search for what you want on the Airbnb website or via the phone app and make a request to stay and then if the host approves you the payment is processed and you’re contacted with details of where to meet, collect keys, etc.. Very simple and it seems to work just fine, we will use it again. The plan had been to stay in Santiago for a few days and then move to Valparaiso for a few days before returning to “Morgane” but as I was coming down with a heavy cold we decided to head home without visiting Valparaiso.
Whilst in Santiago we visited a couple of museums; the Museum of pre-Columbian art (old pots and stuff) and the Museum Bellas Artes; which is much more my thing where I always find at least one exhibition that I enjoy, and a few other galleries and museums. We did a bit of shopping, enjoyed the street art in Barrio Bellavista, went on the funicular railway up Cerro San Cristobal, got pissed-off with the super aggressive restaurant front-of-house menu touts whilst trying to find somewhere to have lunch and in general did the touristy thing.
One important bit of shopping, for me, was to find a replacement metal filter for my coffee press which had been accidentally chucked over the side with the dish water (it’s usually teaspoons that are lost that way). We hunted the internet and called many places before eventually finding a very helpful man called Jaime (whose mother works at the British Embassy in Chile, knows about the Falklands, and who speaks perfect English) at a little company called Briu so if you’re ever in Chile needing a filter for an Aeropress Coffee Maker or some other coffee paraphernalia, or indeed coffee, take a look at the Briu website and give them a call.
After our few days in Santiago in t-shirts we took the overnight salon-cama bus back south to the cold of Valdivia. It wasn’t as cold or as wet as I had left it a couple of months previously and the Sun was shining when we arrived; bonus.
After a day settling in I got busy with knocking some things off the jobs list.
The first task was to put the reconditioned motor back onto the anchor windlass. Once the motor was on I ran a quick test and blew the fuse – ooops something not right. I completely stripped the windlass to investigate and found that most of the bearings were seized. Luckily they were all SKF bearings with the model numbers marked on them and still legible so finding replacements or equivalents in the shops on Valdivia’s Picarte street was easy. After a couple of days of work the windlass was put back together, greased up and in theory as good as new. Let’s see how long it lasts.
Before I could get stuck into any further tasks my cold became very chesty and I decided to seek some medical advice. After a check-up, X-rays and blood analysis, at the Clinica Alemania in Validiva it was decided that I didn’t have Pneumonia but instead had a heavy bout of chronic Bronchitis for which I was dosed up on antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and expectorants.
Task number two was to arrange a haul out to repair the engine bed, replace the propeller shaft, and apply new anti-fouling paint; which has already stretched to include replacing the propeller. This is a long story that I’ll tell in a future entry. The haul-out is scheduled for next Sunday 27th September 2015.
Task number three was to extend the cockpit. This is complete in terms of cutting and welding but there still some way to go on the cosmetics. I’ll follow up with a separate entry on this project.
Task four is to go sailing again!