Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Life Micalvi

The process...
The Micalvi is the ship that was scuttled on the outskirts of Puerto Williams to make a dock for visiting yachts.  But it is also something of an iconic name for a certain kind of sailing.  The Micalvi is where people spend a season between their trip down the Patagonian canales and their trip to Antarctica.  It's a place that we've heard about a hundred times, a shorthand name for an adventurous sort of sailing life that gets you to out of the way places like this.

...and the finished product
And now, after hearing about it for years, here we are.

Elias on the bridge

The Micalvi  itself is something of a playground for the kids.  The bar inside is closed for the winter, but the wheelhouse, which is still quite a luxurious place, has served us very nicely as the setting for a  BYOB social with the other yachties that are here at the end of the winter.

Ice on the seno this morning.  It's still winter

And the yachts - what about them?  You'll see in the pictures above that the place is completely full of yachts waiting out the winter months.  We hear that prices have gone up in Ushuaia, the Argentinean port just thirty miles away on the other side of the Beagle Channel, and that more boats are wintering here as a result.  And of course there are more and more boats in general, especially here in the far south.  A place that only a few crazies visited two decades ago is now available to any crazy who can get together enough money to buy a boat.

The teenager on Mollymawk has a skull collection
that impressed the Galactics very much
Penguin skull!
Johan on Alea
And how about those boats, and the people sailing them?

I'm happy to report that the boats are a pretty ordinary lot.  Nothing too fancy, as you might expect, and nothing too flash.  The people, too - pretty run of the mill, unassuming sorts, no superhero complexes among them.  A good group.

Optimist training in Beagle Channel
Elias coming back from sailing school.  He loves it
Family walks are a big attraction

If we had our druthers, we'd be just about ready to go - tanks full, stores full, slip the lines and go get lost again in los canales.  But we need to get a variety of life issues beaten into shape before we can do that again.  In particular, I have a full load of science work that will keep me dependent on the internet link here for a month or so.

Parakeets in winter - too cool

A leftover from a tense time with Argentina
But, if everything goes according to plan, we have a tremendous Austral summer ahead of us - Tierra del Fuego at first, then Christmas in the Falkands, and who knows what else.

It's not too hard to put in a little stationary time first.

1 comment:

  1. It just all continues to look magical and more....magical. Write on my brother, write on...