19.03.08 – Puerto Espagnol and Lemaire Straits

The girls have departed, leaving behind a yacht suddenly twice the size. Ian and I having stocked the boat with wonderful Argentinian spuds, lomo rosa (cow) and malbec, we cleared out of Ushuaia yesterday morning.

Wreck of the Snipe

Wreck of the Snipe

Our last Patagonian shipwreck was MV Snipe, which hit a reef while carrying a boatload of bibles to allegedly needy locals. 

Last night we anchored for the night at Puerto Espagnol, in a sandy bay with an irritating surge, off the cave where the Patagonian missionary Gardiner starved to death.



As we entered the notorious Straits of Lemaire we met cold, grey and very lumpy seas. Wind on the nose, unfortunately, with Henry Ford doing quite a bit of work. At least we got the heater belching out BTUs. The forecast was poor, and we considered stopping off at Staten Island for a rest. Ian was keen to proceed though, and the icy crags of the island did not look inviting. So we pressed on, with 4 knots of favourable current and a fresh crosswind from the east. Even with favourable tide we had steep confused seas, some breaking but mostly not, without any rhyme or reason to them. They report 10 metre standing waves in the Strait when wind is against tide and I can well imagine it. We were very glad to see the last of Staten Island disappear into the murk as the tide changed.

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