At sunset and approaching Mar del Plata, we were motoring over a calm sea with many curious seabirds and Brendel playing opus 106. We were out of the roaring forties at last, the air warm and the sky clear, and I remember commenting to myself that maybe things aren’t so bad after all.
Mar del Plata is a surprisingly likeable town – a poor, very busy fishing port. Much coming and going of stern trawlers, squid boats and those small, brightly coloured family affairs. Seamen’s bars, gaudy five-and-dime stores and excellent seafood cafes. The Gold Coast stuff is a few miles further north I think.
The harbour is secure and comfortable and the yacht club is venerable, pretty and welcoming. Most yachts sailing south to the Falklands, South Georgia and Patagonia depart from here. We’re ready to leave for Uruguay. A quick trip down to the Prefectura to clear out of Argentina, then we’ll wait for the high tide at lunchtime. 220 miles across the mouth of the Rio de la Plata – less than 2 days, I hope.