|I can't resist one more passage picture - how the family sleeps at sea.|
Note the white mixing bowl just above Alisa - we often keep that near Eric
So, here we are! Chile! A new country, a new continent (Alisa is the only one of us who has ever been to South America before). There's so much to experience and learn about this place and these people and this culture. You'd think we'd be in travelers' ecstasy.
Well, no. There's this thing about traveling on a boat, especially when you travel to more or less remote places like the Tuamotus/Australs (last season) or Patagonia (this coming season). Which is that all of the incredible independence that the boat gives us (think of it - spending months in palm-fringed atolls or icy fjords, while you're also sleeping in your own bed every night - are you getting the picture?) comes at a cost. And that cost, of course, is the very severe toll in time, effort and money that you have to expend to keep the boat in shape so that it can give you that independence.
We've just crossed the Pacific, and put 9,000 miles on the boat, with all the wear and deferred maintenance that entails. And we're planning to go winter in Tierra del Fuego, where there will be little opportunity for getting parts and little weather suitable for activities like painting. So now is our chance to get the work done. Alisa and I are putting our heads down, largely ignoring the delights of Valdivia and the region, and taking care of business. Our cultural interactions have been structured around visits to the hardware store or forays to buy winter clothes for the kids.
But, we've been through this routine often enough not to be too fazed by it. And, we recognize that we can't let this spell of boat work get out of hand. The boat serves us, after all, we don't serve the boat, and it's only too easy to find yourself chained to the dock, working away at an endless list of jobs, instead of being out there, drinking from the fire hose of experience that is sailing the world in your own boat.
So, we figure that since we spent 24 days on passage, 24 days in port working on the boat should be enough. We didn't count Christmas Eve or Christmas against that total, so that takes us until January 19th. I've highlighted that date on the "babes of Tahiti" calendar that I got for Christmas (thanks, honey!), and I am hereby publicly pledging that on that date, weather permitting, we will set sail for the blue whales of Chiloé Island and the delights beyond.
We'll see how it goes.
|The post-passage ice cream in Valdivia|
|Drying out the barky on Christmas Eve|
|New crew uniforms for los canales|
|On the bus|